Yet another star has had the Futurity Stakes 2012 named as a likely new season target, the race fast shaping up as the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival’s marquee attraction with Jim Conlan adding his galloper Rekindled Interest’s name to the list of drawcard contenders eyeing off the Caulfield showdown.
Last month premier Victorian horseman Peter Moody indicated that the country’s cult horse Black Caviar would be there on February 25 for the $400,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m), before Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker had the race penciled in for her first-up run of the autumn just this week.
Now multiple elite level performer Rekindled Interest has added even more depth to the possible 2012 Futurity Stakes field.
A four-year-old son of Redoute’s Choice, Rekindled Interest was last seen finishing less than two lengths away third to Glass Harmonium in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Derby Day, October 29.
It was the gelding’s third elite level assignment, Rekindled Interest having earlier run fifth to December Draw in the Turnbull Sakes (2000m) on October 1 and most impressively third to Pinker Pinker in the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
“He was great, he showed that he was up that level,” Conlan said of Rekindled Interest throughout the spring.
“He was pretty unlucky not to win the Cox Plate and he came through the preparation really well.”
While noted for his Group 1 placings, Rekindled Interest has also been in the winner’s stall on three occasions during their 13-start career to date, most recently when taking out the group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at the Valley on September 10.
Only a week from returning to work at Conlan’s Mornington Peninsula-based stables, Rekindled Interest is gearing up for another supercharged season during the autumn with plenty more Group 1 targets.
His preparation is set to kick off with two runs in Melbourne before heading to Sydney where Conlan hopes the horse can finally shake their maiden status in the elite level arena.
“He went out to the paddock in good order and he’s done well since he’s been out, so it’s all looking fairly promising for the long term,” Conlan said.
Conlan indicated that they would keep Rekindled Interest to the shorter autumn features ranging from around 1400 metres to 1600 metres, all but ruling out the iconic $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10, saying the priority was to have him fresh for another shot at the spring riches.
“I would think we’ll pretty much keep him to around about a mile for the autumn, just so he’s not overtaxed through the autumn and then we can give him another crack at the spring next year,” Conlan explained.
Following the Futurity Stakes Conlan is considering the $250,000 Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) run on Australian Cup Day before shooting for Group 1 glory in the $400,000 Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill’s Golden Slipper Day, April 7, 2012.
While there is a lot to look forward to next year on the Australian racing calendar, the off-season still has plenty to offer punters.