Queanbeyan horseman Neville Layt has been forced to reschedule the first-up autumn run for his star filly Kartua Queen who will now resume in the 2012 Rubiton Stakes this Saturday at Caulfield after the Warwick Farm race meeting last Saturday was a wash out.
The former Magic Millions winning Not A Single Doubt filly was to contest the $70,000 Www.Tab.Com.Au Handicap (1000m) at Warwick Farm in her first run since finishing second to African Pulse at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
With the meeting cancelled due to the heavy rainfall in Sydney and unsafe track conditions, Karuta Queen will now go to Caulfield first-up this weekend in the $125,000 Group 3 Rubiton Stakes (1100m).
One of the headline attractions on a bumper all black-type eight-race CF Orr Stakes Day program, the 2012 Rubition Stakes attracted at total of 15 nominations.
It is shaping up as a smart showdown with other headline early entries including Group 1 winning New Zealander Anabandana, Peter Moody’s undefeated Bel Esprit filly Belle Of The Court, their well-tried stablemate Hallowell Belle last seen finishing fourth to Atlantic Jewel in the Thousand Guineas, and the Peter Snowden-trained trio of Caline, Glows and Graskop.
Layt has also nominated for his Snitzel filly Our Brightest Star who comes off a blitzing five-length victory over 1400m at Canberra on January 27.
The decision by Layt to take Karuta Queen to Melbourne has come as a blow for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“I could have run her in the Expressway (Stakes this Saturday at Rosehill) but first-up over 1200 metres is not ideal,” Layt explained.
“So we’ve decided to go to Melbourne instead for the Rubiton.”
Her first major goal is now scheduled as the $350,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25, Blue Diamond Stakes Day, where she is likely to face off against crack colt Sepoy.
“She will get in on the minimum (in the Rubiton) and also in the Oakleigh Plate,” Layt said.
“She’s been to Caulfield before so that’s not a worry for us.
“It’s only seven hours down the road from Queanbeyan so she will travel on Wednesday.”
Karuta Queen will again be ridden by Tommy Berry on Saturday, the hoop aboard for all 12 of her career starts to date.
The 2012 Rubiton Stakes final field, as well as the acceptances for all the Caulfield features this Saturday including the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes where Black Caviar will shoot for win No. 18 if accepted, is due out on Wednesday.
2012 Rubiton Stakes Nominations
Caulfield – 11/02/2012
|3||DIPLOMATIC FORCE||Wayne Nichols||95|
|4||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||105|
|5||EIGHT BILLS||Gary Portelli||92|
|6||FIRST COMMAND||Anthony Freedman||105|
|7||GRAND DUELS||Byron Cozamanis||101|
|8||HERE DE ANGELS||Wendy Roche||97|
|9||HOT SPIN||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||82|
|10||IRISH DREAM||Peter G Moody||88|
|11||KARUTA QUEEN||Neville Layt||99|
|13||MASTER HARRY||Peter G Moody||98|
|14||WEEKEND SPECIAL||Mark Kavanagh||85|
|15||ZEDI KNIGHT||Brendan McCarthy||103|