MISSING the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival may have ended up being a blessing in disguise for Jake Davis' filly Studleigh Melise, who has used her time recovering from injury to mature into a promising horse.
Two-year-old Huntsville filly Studleigh Melise makes her debut in this Wednesday night's last event on the card at Bathurst Paceway, the Lion Nathan Pace (1,730 metres), where Davis hopes she can emulate her fantastic trial form.
Studleigh Melise goes into the race with four straight trial victories to her name.
Davis has been methodical in bringing the filly towards a debut run, initially hoping to run her against horses her own age but has settled for a maiden event against open-age company.
"The start has been a long time coming. She missed the Gold Crown with a stone bruise, which was a bit disappointing, but it probably did her a bit of a favour because it gave her that spell," Davis said.
"We're getting her back up now. There were no two-year-old races programmed so we waited a bit, but they're not getting enough noms for them. I said to dad we'd have to bite the bullet and put her in a maiden.
"I think she'll handle it. We're just really excited to finally get her to track."
Studleigh Melise was sold at last year's Bathurst Gold Crown Yearling Sales for $20,000 to Ray Davis, Jake's grandfather.
She won three straight trials in April before taking a spell and winning her latest trial by 13 metres on June 6.
The filly's sire, Huntsville, is currently third placed on the New South Wales leading two-year-old sires list and has a strong strike rate in 2022.
"We were pretty lucky. Huntsville, who she's by, is having a lot of success with his two-year-olds this season," Davis said.
"Those crop of horses seem to be handy and winning races all around so we feel quite lucky to have one by him."
The two other debutants in Wednesday's maiden are Anthony Frisby's Uncle Tony and Robbie Clifford's Shady Tree, who have the one and two gate respectively.
"There's a couple of first starters in this race, so anything can happen, but if everything goes right hopefully she'll be good enough to get home," Davis said.
"Chris Frisby's got a first starter too and it's been going alright at the trials too."
Racing at Bathurst Paceway starts from 5.15pm.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.