Pretty Brazen on target for Guineas tilt

Mathew Toogood
Pretty Brazen will be one of two fillies to take on the males in the Group Two Sandown Guineas

It has been 14 years since a filly has won the Group Two Sandown Guineas but trainer Tony McEvoy is optimistic Pretty Brazen has the talent to break that drought.

Pretty Brazen is one of two fillies in Saturday's Guineas over 1600m for three-year-olds, with the Dan O'Sullivan-trained Affair To Remember the other.

Both fillies shape as strong chances with Affair To Remember the $3.40 favourite in an early market on Wednesday while Pretty Brazen was on the second line of betting at $4.40 in the field of 11.

Cayambe is the most recent filly to win the Sandown Guineas in 2005 while six fillies have figured in the placings since, most recently 2018 runner-up Seabrook.

McEvoy, who now trains in partnership with his son Calvin, is happy to run Pretty Brazen over 1600m for the first time on Saturday after a campaign which has included six races across three states and netted three wins.

Pretty Brazen began her campaign in late July with an easy victory in a maiden at Murray Bridge before she was sent to Sydney to chase feature race success.

She failed in her two Sydney starts, including the Group Two Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) when McEvoy believes they got tactics wrong that day by riding her close to the pace.

He believes letting Pretty Brazen relax early in her races allows her to unleash a more effective finishing sprint, something the filly has shown in three starts since returning to Victoria.

After a confidence-boosting win in lesser grade at Bendigo over 1300m in late September Pretty Brazen won again at Caulfield against her own age and sex.

She heads to the Guineas after a fifth in the Listed Desirable Stakes (1400m), won by Akari, last week at Flemington and McEvoy believes there was enough merit in the way she finished the race off to suggest she can be effective over the Guineas distance.

"She's a real talent," McEvoy said.

"We rode her quiet at Bendigo and she trotted up.

"Then we rode her quiet at Caulfield and she was super impressive.

"We rode her quietly the other day at Flemington and she was fantastic again. Her closing sections were as good as the winner.

"She has bounced out of that run really well."

The Danny O'Brien-trained colt Banquo won the Listed Springtime Stakes (1400m) last Saturday at Flemington and was third favourite for the Guineas on Wednesday at $5.