Queen flying ahead of Sheraco Stakes challenge at Rosehill

Michael Freedman believes multiple Group winner Queen Of The Ball is in career-best shape but has cautioned firm tracks remain the key to her spring.

The daughter of I Am Invincible will line up in the Group 2 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday after a fighting second to Parisal first-up in the Toy Show Quality (1100m) despite the unsuitable soft 7 conditions.

A smart juvenile, Queen Of The Ball mixed her form at three but Freedman feels she is a different horse since undergoing a minor procedure following her most recent campaign.

“I think she is probably going better than she ever has,” Freedman said.

“She had a bit of tidy-up surgery on her throat after the autumn, she had a little growth we had to remove and she seems to have responded well to that.

“Dry tracks are key to her. Here the other day, it might have just taken a touch of her brilliance away being on that track with a bit of give.

“All her best form has been on good, firm tracks so fingers crossed she gets that.”

Queen Of The Ball ($9.50) has drawn the inside in a fascinating renewal of the Sheraco in which five of the nine runners are at $10 and under.

Emerging sprinter and last start Missile Stakes winner I Am Me was holding favouritism on Thursday at $2.60 but there was continued support for the resuming Zapateo, who was crunched from $3.40 into $2.70.

Surround Stakes winner Sunshine In Paris ($7.50) and Zougotcha ($10), who gets blinkers for the first time, are also being kept safe in early markets.

The race will be pivotal to Freedman’s spring plans for Queen Of The Ball, who is under consideration for a trip to Melbourne.

“She might have a good freshen up and go down to Melbourne for the Moir (Stakes),” Freedman said.

“We’ll see how things go on the weekend.”

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