Local training partners Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra will be out to improve a strong juvenile record when Lil Red Corvette steps out in Saturday's Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at Flemington.
The Ellerton and Zahra operation sits atop the Victorian two-year-old trainers' standings with four winners from just 13 runners at a strike rate of 30.76 percent. The four winners have come at an average price of $5.50, leaving punters following the stable's youngsters well in front.
Anthony Freedman and John Thompson have also prepared four two-year-old winners in Victoria this season but have taken 16 and 14 runners respectively to achieve the mark.
Freedman and Thompson both have billionaire clients providing plenty of ammunition but Ellerton and Zahra have profited from a patient approach with their modestly priced yearlings.
"We bring them all through the stable once before the start of winter to see which ones we can work on early and perhaps get to the races," Zahra said.
"We don't push them. The horses tell us what to do with them regarding a two-year-old campaign.
"If they show they can cope with an early preparation, we'll go ahead, but we are just as quick to send them back to the paddock to strengthen."
The approach paid off with Lil Red Corvette, who finished third in the first Melbourne two-year-old race of the season at Flemington in early October before returning with a hard-fought win at Moonee Valley earlier this month.
"She is a progressive type of filly and one we have plenty of time for," Zahra said. "I thought she showed plenty of guts in her last win. She was taken on all the way and kept fighting all the way.
"She's learning all the time and will run a good race for us at Flemington."
Chris Symons rode Lil Red Corvette to victory at Moonee Valley and retains the ride on Saturday. The daughter of Henny Hughes is a $9 chance in pre-post betting on the Talindert Stakes.
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