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Gig ready for stakes test at Flemington
Mathew Toogood
17:02 AEST Mon Jan 6 2014

A New Year's Day city win was the perfect start to 2014 for Gig and trainer Shawn Mathrick hopes the mare can go to another level in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes.

The former Darley-owned galloper was knocked down to Mathrick for $61,000 at an August sale last year and the five-year-old earned her shot at Saturday's Chester Manifold (1400m) at Flemington after a fast-finishing win - her first for her new stable - over the same course and distance in fillies and mares grade.

Gig is among 13 nominations for Saturday's $120,000 race but entries have been extended until Tuesday morning.

Mathrick confirmed Gig would line up at Flemington and not in Adelaide where she was also nominated for a 1400m race.

The trainer said Gig had a history of feet problems which he was still working on and would probably take another six months to be fully right, but added the mare had been racing well and had come through her latest win in great order.

"She's bouncing out of her skin," Mathrick said.

The Cranbourne trainer is still learning about the daughter of Commands,who has had four starts for her new stable, but insisted the time was right to give her a chance in the stakes race.

"We're going to keep her to breed with and I just thought it was the right time of the year to try to have a crack at something like that," Mathrick said.

"A lot of the good horses are out and they are going to come back for the autumn and that's a little bit later on. I just thought this time of the year would be right for her, and she's fit."

Gig is one of four last-start winners among the entries including former stablemate Limes who took out a 1400m event at Rosehill on December 21, a week after the Peter Snowden-trained galloper's second in the Group Two Villers Stakes (1550m).

The Peak and Anlon are also last-start winners at Flemington.

Chase The Rainbow is in line to make his second start of his comeback after trailing the field home in the Christmas Stakes first-up, while Danny O'Brien has nominated import Praire Star who hasn't raced since the Group Two Peter Young Stakes last February.

"It's going to be a hard task for her but she will drop in weight, she's super fit and she loves the track," Mathrick said of Gig.

"We'll just see how we go. It's just a learning curve for me at the moment with her. I'll know where she's at after Saturday."

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