Part-owner John Mullins elected to send her north. St Vincent said he had his work cut out when she arrived but feels he’s winning the battle.

“She was a quirky filly that had a reputation of doing a few things wrong and being hot-headed,” he said.

“She’s been a bit of a work in progress and thrown a few curve balls at me. But she’s developed, I think, a mental capacity that is going to turn her into a better racehorse.

“I’m happy with her progress; she’s become a bit more user friendly.”

A narrow trial win on a heavy track at Moree on December 19 gave St Vincent confidence that Fantini is ready to produce first-up over the short course.

He said the trial win didn’t surprise him but it was the manner in which she won, by leading, that was most encouraging given her racing style to date has been largely off the pace.

“I expect her to run a bold race if she puts her best foot forward, and going off the trial I don’t see why she can’t,’’ he said.

“From what she’s shown on the track, I think she is ready to produce the standard that you need to win a race like this.

“If she can get a nice run just behind the leaders that’d be great, but she can get back and finish off well and the trial showed she’s matured a bit.”

Best bets

Race 7: (1) Standing Bear

Race 9: (3) Stonecold Flex

Best value

Race 5: (8) Scenic Sunrise

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