Quezette Stakes return for Lyre

The first of last season’s Group One-winning juveniles is set to step out as a three-year-old in what shapes as an intriguing Quezette Stakes at Caulfield.

Blue Diamond winner Lyre makes her season return in Saturday’s 1100m Group Three Quezette Stakes for three-year-old fillies, her first start since finishing third in the Golden Slipper in March.

In a race that could provide the first major guide towards some of the fillies feature races in Melbourne during spring, the Anthony Freedman-trained Lyre’s 12 Quezette Stakesrivals include four other stakes winners.

Magic Millions Classicwinner Exhilarates, Blue Diamondrunner-up Lankan Star and one-time Blue Diamond favourite Brooklyn Hustle are also acceptors.

“It’s a proper spring race,” Freedman’s son and assistant trainer, Sam Freedman, said.

“Lyre’s in good order. She’s had a couple of good jump-outs and she’s got a lot of improvement in her.

“But drawn nicely, we’ll just ride her quiet and let her balance up. We wouldn’t be disappointed if she doesn’t win the race as long as she’s hitting the line well.

“We just want to see her hitting the line well and showing that she’s come back in good order.

“It’s exciting to have her back at the track but obviously she’s got bigger fish to fry down the track.”

Lyre is being aimed towards the Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfieldon October 12 while a start in the Group One Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydneybefore that is possible.

While race day will provide a better guide, the stable is confident Lyre will again be a force to be reckoned with this campaign.

“Her work on Tuesday really showed that to us, that she has come back the same if not a touch better,” Freedman said.

“But she wouldn’t need to improve a whole lot to match it with all the three-year-olds in the spring.”

Under the set weights plus penalties conditions, Lyre has to carry between 1kg and 3kg more than her rivals in the Quezette.

Brooklyn Hustle, who easily won a Cranbourne barrier trial last week, is shading Lyre for favouritism.