So You Assume wins the Stocks Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)
Shane Nichols will continue on an ambitious spring path with So You Assume as he seeks to find the ceiling to the emerging mare’s ability following her win in Friday’s Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at The Valley.
Nichols confirmed that the daughter of So You Think would next tackle the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield, before chasing a lucrative payday in the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m).
Having won the Stocks Stakes, So You Assume is now eligible for a $1 million bonus from Racing Victoria and the VRC if she can also win the Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington.
Nichols said the mare, who has won five of her eight starts since breaking her maiden in January, had developed a positive racing style that helped complement her natural ability - a combination which proved lethal in Friday night's Stakes debut.
"We've always liked her and always thought she was a city class horse but it's been hard to find her ceiling because we keep raising the bar and she keeps winning," Nichols said.
"She's got a really high cruising speed, she travels strong, she's got a good set of lungs on her and she quickens.
"She showed she was superior to that level of mares (on Friday) so we're not sure how good she is.
"He rating will go up so she probably goes through the Toorak, somewhere close to the minimum, then into the Empire Rose."
WATCH: So You Assume wins the Stocks Stakes.
Nichols won the Empire Rose Stakes in 2016 with I Am A Star and, although loathe to compare the two horses, he did acknowledge there are some similarities between the former pin-up mare and his new heir apparent.
So You Assume is rated a $21 chance with Sportsbet for the Empire Rose Stakes.
"They're a diffrerent type of horse and I'd be hesitant to compare them just yet," he said.
"They're both small in stature, that's about the only physical similarity.
"Like I Am A Star, this mare puts herself up on the speed and takes luck out of the equation.
"When they can travel forward in the run and be strng through the line, they generally keep winning."
Nichols said whether dual Group 1 winner Streets of Avalon is seen again this spring will be determined in the next 48 hours with a blood test to indicate if he's overcome an issue that ruled him out of last week's Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
The Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) and the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1400m) are all options for the seven-year-old if Nichols and his vets are satisfied with the latest blood picture.
"We'll re-blood him tomorrow," he said.
"If he's back to normal then he's back to work."
Nichols also confirmed that, after being unable to attend The Valley on Friday night while one of his staff awaited the result of a COVID test, it was back to normal operations at his Mornington base, aftdr the staff member returned a negative result.