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Gear change for Longport in Flight Stakes
Mathew Toogood
17:24 AEST Tue Oct 2 2012

Last-start winner Longport will have a gear switch for Saturday's Group One Flight Stakes in a move designed to enhance the filly's fighting qualities.

Longport was awarded the Group Two Tea Rose Stakes (1500m) on protest when trainer John Thompson said he wasn't surprised she fought out the finish.

But he believes removing blinkers and applying winkers will help the filly's chances at Randwick.

Christian Reith returns from suspension and takes over from Jim Cassidy on Longport.

"We just felt the other day (with blinkers on) that she couldn't see that other horse (Norzita) coming, and when she did see it she kicked," Thompson said.

"We're going to go to the winkers so she can see something coming, because she really fights on when something challenges her."

Longport won first-up at Kembla Grange on the final day of the 2011-2012 racing season and then backed it up with a Warwick Farm win on August 11.

The Tea Rose was Longport's third win of the campaign but came after a failure behind Spring Champion Stakes favourite Proisir.

"Obviously she went well in her first two runs, then I stuffed up going into her third run," Thompson said.

"I was too easy on her with a three-week break between races and she got fat.

"In the three-week break after that into the Tea Rose I trialled her in between, kept her right up to the mark, and she won.

"This time it's only two weeks between races which will suit her a lot better."

Thompson believes Longport will handle the step up in distance on Saturday and says the VRC Oaks (2500m) is also in his sights.

"Everyone that's ever ridden her - any jockey or trackwork rider - they come back in and say `she's going to be a nice stayer'," he said.

There are 12 nominations for the Flight Stakes including Norzita, Dear Demi and last Saturday's Reginald Allen Quality winner Urban Groove.