Young trainer Dan Pearce reckons Keeper Quiet has improved enough from her first-up run to be a legitimate contender in tomorrow's $200,000 SKYY Vodka Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.
Pearce, who is on a high with boom sprinter Travinator, said Keeper Quiet was in need of a run when she finished eighth to Antique Belle in the Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) 13 days ago.
After racing on the speed, Keeper Quiet faded to be beaten 5 1/4 lengths.
The Scandal Keeper filly was starting first up in the Burgess Queen after a virus interrupted the start of her campaign.
Pearce said Keeper Quiet pulled up "pretty big" after the run but has since improved in leaps and bounds.
"The run wasn't too bad," Pearce said. "I struggled to get the miles into her for a 1400 race first-up at that level and she would have taken a lot from it.
"She was probably ridden closer to them than I liked but I did tell Clint (Harvey) to get to wherever she was comfortable. I think she'll run a much better race."
Keeper Quiet showed her class when she ran a close-up second to Luke's Luck in the Karrakatta Plate (1200m) and Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) last autumn.
The 27-year-old Pearce's claims in the 2011 Champion Fillies were ruined when Lauradane drew barrier 16. She ran a game fourth to Dreamaway.
Keeper Quiet will start from barrier two.
"The way she got home in the Karrakatta and Sires, you'd think she'd run 1600," Pearce said. "We'll ride her a bit quieter this time.
"The fillies are outstanding this year and there are plenty of chances."
Keeper Quiet is rated a $15 chance with Player. Antique Belle, a dominant winner of the Burgess Queen, heads the market at $2.35.
Secret Scandal, another Scandal Keeper filly, is rated a strong chance by her trainer Dan Morton.
Secret Scandal has been a model of consistency with five consecutive placings. She was brave when jumping from a wide gate and finishing a long neck third to Miss Solis in the Belgravia Stakes (1200m) before her last-start second in the Burgess Queen.
"She's been fantastically consistent and is just a tough filly," Morton told Racing Radio.
"I'm looking forward to the mile with her. Over the mile it's important to draw a good gate and it's an advantage to be in there (barrier four).
"She probably is deserved of winning a good one and this would be a very good one."
Secret Scandal is quoted at $13.
"The way she got home in the Karrakatta and Sires, you'd think she'd run 1600."" Keeper Quiet's trainer *Dan Pearce *