Comeback mare and recent stable acquisition perform well at Cranbourne
Imperatriz was the headline act at Monday's Cranbourne trial session, but it was the performance another five-year-old mare who caught the attention of most in the first heat.
Passive Aggressive indicated she was in poised to make a successful return to the racetrack after a failed trip to the breeding barn with an eye-catching effort in the 800m workout in which Imperatriz was an underwhelming fifth.
The Group 2 winner travelled wide throughout but surged to the line under little riding to cruise past Imperatriz and finish third, just under a length from new Grahame Begg-trained stablemate Cinderella Days.
"I'm very happy with her, she didn't come in carrying too much condition seeing as she'd been to stud and had a long break off, so we're very happy with her and she looks to be coming to hand very well," Begg said.
Passive Aggressive hasn't raced since finishing eighth in the Group 1 Sangster Stakes last May, after which she was retired and sent to I Am Invincible but failed to get in-foal.
She will have another trial before most likely resuming her racing career in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 9, a race she won last year.
"The (Black Caviar) Lightning would be a great race for her, but I just didn't want to rush her after having such a long period of time off," Begg said.
"More than likely she's going to follow the same path to last year; she'll go to Sydney and run in the Challenge Stakes."
Begg will most likely plot a path to Adelaide with the mare who won Monday's first trial with Cinderella Days having her first public outing since joining the Cranbourne trainer from Sydney horseman Joe Pride.
The daughter of Astern has won three of her nine starts and was beaten just over half-a-length when third behind In Secret and Sunshine In Paris in last year's Group 3 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) and Begg said his job was to get a Black Type win with the four-year-old.
"She's got some nice form, we've just got to try and win a Listed race with her, but she seems to have good ability and is coming to hand really well," Begg said.
"She gave Blake Shinn good feel. He said when he asked her to accelerate she certainly found another gear."
Begg has identified the $150,000 mares handicap over 1100m at Flemington on March 2 as a probable kick-off point for Cinderella Days, whose campaign is likely to culminate in Adelaide.
Monday was a busy morning for Begg who also saw his Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Magic Time close off nicely for fifth in her first trial of the preparation and 2022 Coolmore Stud Stakes runner-up C'Est Magique beaten just a head when third in her 990m trial.