A drop back to her preferred distance and a soft surface could make all the difference for Messy Miss in Saturday's Dandy Cup at Narromine.
That's the thoughts of Dubbo trainer Brett Robb as he chases two feature wins in successive weekends.
Fresh from taking out last weekend's $50,000 Picnic Championship Final at Coonamble with On A Promise, Robb will have Messy Miss line up in Saturday's 1200m Dandy Cup.
The six-year-old mare caught the eye with back-to-back wins at Dubbo and Mudgee earlier this preparation but hasn't placed in three starts since.
"Her last two runs haven't been her best but they were both over the 1400 (metres)," Robb said.
"Both jockeys who rode her said she's probably best kept to six furlongs.
"At Coonamble (last start), it was also very hard (surface) there and she's shown before she won't go on the hard track.
"She's a bit tricky. She won't run on a heavy track and she won't run on a really firm track. She just needs it between a Soft 5 and Soft 7 so if it's between that range I think it will suit her."
The Narromine track was rated a Soft 7 for Dandy Cup day on Friday.
Messy Miss was handed barrier 10 and while that isn't ideal, Robb said Messy Miss was strong enough to take out the event should things work out in her favour.
Robb is also hopeful putting the blinkers on his mare will boost his chances after she appeared to switch on when having them in work this week.
"I think 1100m fresh or 1200m is her go and I think the blinkers should sharpen her up a bit," Robb added.
The William Freedman-trained pair Ang Pow and Celestial Doll are two other major contenders for the cup but the former is unlikely to line up given he raced at Bathurst on Friday.
Dubbo trainer Clint Lundholm will have Fearless Mila in the cup while the lone hometown hope in the race is the Wayne Collison-trained Sue's Girlfriend.
The Dandy Cup meeting will be a special one for the Narromine Race Club as it will be the first times crowds are allowed back since the COVID lockdown.
"It's good for the owners," Robb said of crowds returning.
"It keeps them bit interested and I think a few of the owners were maybe getting a little cranky they couldn't go and see their horses.
"It's definitely going to be good."
Robb will take two chances to Narromine, with Lipstick Lil looking for a breakthrough first win after placings in her two most recent starts.
She'll contest the AG Auto Spark Maiden Handicap (1100m).
The Dandy Cup is the seventh race on the card on Saturday while the first will jump at 1.11pm.
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