If you had asked trainer Mike Reed several months ago if Our Angel Of Harlem would be challenging for a spot in the Breeders Challenge final in Melbourne his response would have been dismissive.
The talented filly came from New Zealand with a big reputation and a price tag to match, but if early impressions counted for anything then Reed wasn’t hopeful of a particularly bright future.
Reed expected big things from his new recruit after she ran placings in the Harness Jewels and Australasian Breeders Crown as a two-year, but her start in Perth failed to flatter.
The former Kiwi-trained pacer won just one race and her attempt at taking out the $150,000 WA Oaks in May fell short of the mark when she ran fifth to Our Major Mamma.
But Reed's move to give Our Angel Of Harlem a short break after the Oaks has been a masterstroke with the three-year-old rejuvenated and back in form
The daughter of Mach Three has won three of her four starts this preparation and will compete in the Breeders Crown series semi-final at Bendigo on Saturday.
Reed said Our Angel Of Harlem, after a shaky beginning, had turned the corner.
“When I first got her I thought she was handy, but she had a bad prep leading up to the Oaks,” Reed told Tabradio.
“She was stuck in Melbourne for about four weeks and wasn’t getting work and I rushed her for the Oaks.
“I gave her a little bit of a break and she has come back a lot different horse.
“She is a good filly and she is improving all the time.
“Her track work at home has been sensational.”
Our Angel Of Harlem requires a top six finish to qualify for the Breeders Crown series final for three-year-old fillies (2240m) at Melton in a fortnight.
Her task complicated after drawing barrier 11 on the second row. Speak No Evil, chasing five wins in a line, will step from the coveted inside position.
“She only has to run in the first six, so it’s not the end of the world,” Reed said.
“She will let the race settle and unfold before sitting the breeze.
“Even with the bad draw you can put her into the race.
“She is tough and you don’t have to sit back and wait.”