Mirror Queen’s regal pedigree ready to ascend in Gunnedah

While country racing centres tip-toe around another storm front, one of the stronger non-carnival Monday meetings takes shape at Gunnedah.

Across big fields on a likely soft track for feature Curlewis Cup day, an exciting Class 2 Handicap over a mile threatens to be the stand-out form reference for punters eager to kick off a new winter week on the right foot.

Trainer Kris Lees.Credit:Peter Stoop

Among a stack of last-start winners in the race, many of which will go on to win better contests, two exciting three-year-olds are set to steal the show.

Scone-based Mirror Queen is one of the more exciting fillies around country NSW, and she’s aiming to make it two straight wins fourth-up in her first proper prep.

A daughter of Dundeel from the Messara stable, Mirror Queen put it all together 10 days ago at Tamworth, working clear of traffic and thundering home for a dominant Class 1 win as a well backed favourite.

It was another reminder of Mirror Queen’s quality, more than six months after she burst on to the scene with a dazzling debut win from midfield on the Beaumont track at Newcastle.

Since then not everything has gone to plan, but she looks back to her best, and has the finishing sectional ability to off-set a wide draw at Gunnedah.

But there’ll be little or no room for error against another promising filly who is headed for bigger targets.

Exolay, a daughter of Group 1 winner Exosphere and trained by Kris Lees at Newcastle, was equally as impressive flooding home to win a handy CL2 at Port 16 days ago, and five weeks between runs.

Perhaps even better suited in soft going ahead of her 12th start, Exolay could be set for a metro Midway if she beats this field.

Meanwhile, a wide open Curlewis Cup over 1400m can provide a second win in three starts for underrated Dubbo five-year-old Hit The Rim.

Still lightly raced and fourth up in only her third prep, Hit The Rim powered home under a big weight to win a BM 66 at home two starts back before working home okay in a deeper Highway at Rosehill 16 days ago.

She drops 3kg to the limit weight for this, and veteran jockey Grant Buckley returns to the saddle for the first time since last November.

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