Benfica Princess is fitter for stakes

Friday 21 April 2017, 4:47pm

Trainer Kelly Doughty believes Queensland Oaks-bound Benfica Princess will be a lot fitter when she steps out at Doomben.

Benfica Princess will be having her second start this campaign when she tackles Saturday's Listed Princess Stakes (1600m).

The filly created a big impression with three consecutive wins late last year.

Benfica Princess returned to racing a fortnight ago when fifth in a Class Three race over 1200m at the Sunshine Coast.

Doughty was far from disappointed with the run with the filly's preparation disrupted by wet weather.

"The rain really played havoc with her early preparation. The trials were washed out and then another race didn't go ahead so she was bit underdone at Caloundra," Doughty said.

"Provided the pace is on early on Saturday I would expect her to be running home hard."

Benfica Princess is headed to the Gold Coast Bracelet, Doomben Roses and the Queensland Oaks this winter.

"We have had the program in mind all along and now the weather is better we can follow it," Doughty said.

Jeff Lloyd, who has won two races on Benfica Princess, will replace last-start jockey Jag Guthmann-Chester.

"Jeff was keen to ride her but whether he can continue through the winter is up in the air as he has commitments with his main trainer Toby Edmonds," Doughty said.

"But we will cross that bridge when we come to it."

– AAP

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