Perth trainer Simon Miller went home without a winner at Ascot on Saturday but his biggest result came when he decided to keep glamour filly Amelia’s Jewel in her box.
So bad was the leader bias on the day, Miller said his rising star would have been hard pressed winning the Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes in what would have been a gut-buster for this weekend’s WA Guineas (1600m).
Miller and Amelia’s Jewel tasted defeat for the first time in the Listed Burgess Queen (1400m) on Melbourne Cup day, but history says it’s not necessarily a bad thing with superstar Arcadia Queen even getting rolled in the same race.
“We had some luck but, if we ran the filly on Saturday, she was no hope,” Miller said.
“She would have been behind Laced Up Heels with nowhere to go, she would have run well but it would have been a hard run going into the Guineas.
“My concern was that I didn’t want to give her three runs in 21 days, then back her up and have four runs in 28 days. It is the Big Bash series over here, T20 style.”
Arcadia Queen went on to be a three-time Group 1 winner with $4m in prizemoney after her odds-on defeat in the Burgess Queen and Miller openly says his prized filly could do the same thing.
Owner Peter Walsh and Simon Miller have formed a formidable combination in Perth. Picture: Western Racepix.
“It has been a hoodoo race for favourites, the Burgess Queen,” Miller said. “I remembered I ran one-two in it one year (2018) and beat Arcadia Queen — she ran third.
“To be fair, Arcadia Queen came out after that in the Champion Fillies and Guineas and said ‘get a bit of this’ and went bang.
“I know the punters were probably disappointed because she was $1.30, but it was a big run building towards what we want to do.
“I’m a horse trainer so I’m looking for positives from a $1.30 chance getting beat but hopefully we can do an Arcadia Queen this time.”
Amelia’s Jewel is a $2.50 favourite to win on Saturday and a $4 favourite to take out her first Group 1 two weeks later in the Northerly Stakes over 1800m.
“Sometimes in racing you get it right,” Miller laughed.
“She missed the run and I haven’t taxed her, so I feel like a winner because I’m not sure she would have been able to win on Saturday.
“The form held up well out of the Burgess Queen, Laced Up Heels ran second on Saturday and she is breathing fire now, she is ready to go.”