McVean star filly set for Guineas run

By James Graham

Cambridge trainer Jeff McVean has only one query ahead of Rollout The Carpet's 1000 Guineas assault at Riccarton tomorrow.

He can't fathom why last season's top-rated 2-year-old filly has fallen so far out of favour.

TAB bookies rated the group two Matamata Breeders' Stakes winner a $9 chance yesterday, on the fourth line of betting behind Lovetessa ($4.60), Fix ($5) and Pure Elegance ($8) in the coveted $300,000 group one.

Yet the battle-hardened black-type performer has been in near faultless form since resuming as a 3-year-old in the Gold Trail Stakes on September 22.

Badly in need of the run, Rollout The Carpet ran a gallant second to Pure Elegance, beaten by just a neck.

Primed with a trial win 2 weeks later, she backed up raceday with an even more eye-catching effort for new campaign rider Mark Du Plessis in the James & Annie Sarten Memorial (1400m) at Te Rapa.

It took subsequent 2000 Guineas hot-pot Sacred Falls to run her down; finishing behind her that day were a trio of highly rated Riccarton hopefuls, Pure Elegance, Fix and Waterford.

"She pushed the other horse [Sacred Falls] pretty hard and he went down there [Riccarton] and won so I can't see why she can't do the same thing," said McVean, who trains in partnership with daughter Emma-Lee Browne.

McVean said the filly, who has one of the most explosive home-straight sprints of any Guineas runner, has purposely been raced sparingly at 3 to have her peaking for Riccarton.

McVean isn't concerned by the extra 200m tomorrow.

"The trip doesn't worry me, provided Mark rates her well. The key to that is getting a bit of a sit rather than leading."

McVean said Rollout The Carpet may also back-up in the Levin Classic (1600m) at Otaki at the end of the month.

Another proven group performer, Single Minded, could also sneak under punters' guard in the supporting feature tomorrow, the $225,000 group three New Zealand Cup (3200m).

The winner of two group two 2400m features last campaign was rated a $12 fixed-odds hope yesterday. Single Minded hasn't raced here since a Melbourne Cup campaign was scrapped last month, but reports since his return to New Zealand suggest he's dramatically over-the-odds.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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