Promising Zacinto filly Secret Allure will attempt to go one-up on her Group One-performed ownership-mate Dijon Bleu when she tackles Saturday's Listed Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton.
Raced by the same team as Secret Allure, Burgundy filly Dijon Bleu has been one of the star performers of the season with five wins at stakes level and a second in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) before a tendon injury cut her season short.
Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta, who shares in the ownership of both fillies, believes Secret Allure can deliver a Riccarton stakes win this weekend.
"I expect her to be very competitive. I wouldn't have taken her down there if I didn't think she was a good winning chance," Latta said.
"I'm a little bit concerned about her draw [barrier two] because she's always going to get back and be getting home late, but I expect her to run very well."
Secret Allure followed a debut second at Otaki last December with a clinical Te Rapa 1200m win in February before finishing fourth at Trentham behind stablemate Sir Nate in what was a trial for a possible start in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni.
"She was getting home nicely that day, but I just think the track was a touch too firm for her," Latta said.
"When we decided not to run in the Sires' Produce, we thought we'd sit and wait for a softer black-type race. She's an immature filly and has just needed time. She'll be better as a three-year-old, but she definitely deserves her chance at a race like this."
It's something of a return home for Secret Allure, who was bred by Inglewood Stud's Nick and Carol Wigley in North Canterbury.
Latta outlaid $36,000 for the filly, out of a sister to Ombre Rose, at Karaka's select session last year.
"She'll probably go to the paddock after this one, though there is the Castletown Stakes (1200m, at Wanganui on June 2) if she won super impressively," Latta said.
TAB bookmakers have Secret Allure on the third line of betting at $4.20 behind Cambridge visitor Peaceful at $3.70 and last-start Riccarton winner Khimar War at $4. - NZ Racing Desk.