A streak of horror draws have surprisingly worked in favour of Big Caroline in the lead-up to her biggest test in Saturday's $500,000 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) at Ascot.
Big Caroline was the first two-year-old winner for her owners Dan and Julie Love when she beat Karrakatta Plate rival Versed Remedy by 1¾ lengths in a 1100m Bunbury maiden on February 20.
The Blackfriars filly will be the first starter in the prestigious juvenile feature for her owners and their private trainer, Simon Foster.
Foster entered her for last Saturday week's Gimcrack Stakes, won by Fuld's Bet, and a no metro win event at Ascot last Wednesday, when Neville Parnham's Crown Choice spoilt a plunge on Versed Remedy.
But he scratched Big Caroline when she drew 18 and 16 respectively and instead kept her at home in Bunbury, where she has enjoyed beach work.
He gave her a final hit-out in a 1000m Bunbury trial last Friday. Race rider Troy Turner drove to Bunbury to ride the filly, who blitzed her rivals to win by four lengths.
At her most recent start, Big Caroline was taking ground from Jezpark inside the final 100m, when she was beaten a half-head by the Bletchley Park youngster in the Supremacy Stakes (1100m) on March 1.
Big Caroline, quoted at $21 on the TAB, has drawn 12 for the Karrakatta, which yesterday saw the scratchings of Molto Allegro and second emergency Tirreno, following their horror draws in 18 and 19. Vitalism (2) slipped into the elite field of 16.
"She hasn't been able to get a decent draw at Ascot," Foster said. "She seems to waddle around the Ascot corner and it takes her a bit of time to knuckle down again.
"It is probably more race experience than anything else as she hits the line hard.
"There is a bit more give in the track at Bunbury and it (the trial) saved her travelling.
"I asked Troy just to let her go over the last 400m and when he did she responded really good.
"I left the blinkers on her in the trial because she can take things a bit easy and I did want her to work that 400m. I wasn't fussed whether she ran again after the Supremacy because I knew she had qualified."
The Loves paid $28,000 for Big Caroline as a weanling at the 2012 Perth winter sale.
Meanwhile, trainer Simon Miller has decided to use blinkers on Fuld's Bet after she shone in her new gear at Ascot yesterday.
"She worked well," Miller said.
"She'll definitely wear the shades on Saturday.
"I was always mindful if I did get her into the Karrakatta, I would put the shades on her."
Fuld's Bet and fellow filly Cadenza head the market at $4.20 and $4.80 on the TAB, with Rommel next at $7.
"I asked Troy just to let her go over the last 400m and she responded really good.""Big Caroline's trainer *Simon Foster *