We couldn't get hold of Waikato owner/trainer John Morrell yesterday, but pretty much know the answer to the question we were about to ask.

It's the biggest certainty of the last few weeks - that class filly Florence Jean has spent much of her $100,000 J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes lead-up under the expert eye of Pim Blair's horsemanship at Raglan.

Like a lot of 2-year-olds, Florence Jean had flirted with a touch of shin soreness on her way through to making a brilliant 4.5 length debut win at Ruakaka on December 13.

Morrell has used the recuperative powers of beach work at Blair's Raglan beach property for many of his horses, including now-retired Railway winner Ryan Mark and Florence Jean knew all about Raglan before she headed to Ruakaka.


She will know more now. From the No5 gate, the slippery filly will give her mainly more experienced rivals plenty to catch over the 1200m in conditions that should lend themselves to a fast time.

Alysha Collett was aboard at Ruakaka and retains the mount.

Often this race produces a standout, but this year, overall, that is not the case. There is an even look to the middle of this line-up with barrier draws likely to play a real part.

Excelleration has not fared well in that area with No10..

In the eyes of some she might have lost a little gloss when beaten into third at Pukekohe last start, but you have to take into account what beat her.

The winner in that, Aim Smart, will start favourite in the $50,000 Reid & Harrison Slipper two races earlier on the programme and second was the highly-rated Summer Praise, second favourite in that earlier event.

That puts Excelleration in with a great chance against her own sex.

Gold Fever showed she was as tough as she is talented when she got the money at Te Rapa last start. Santuzza showed at Trentham she is highly-talented and Ujjayyi, from the rails barrier, and Belle du Nord are other chances in an interesting race.

After his Pukekohe win, Aim Smart will take beating in the colts and geldings race and the interesting runner with be debut youngster I Got You, who has been super impressive in his brace of barrier trials victories.