Cranbourne horseman Mick Kent is assessing the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival options for his former AJC Oaks winner Absolutely who is nominated for but not a certain starter in this Saturday’s 2012 Chairman’s Handicap at Doomben Racecourse.
One of the key support races on BTC Cup Day the $115,000 Group 3 BTC Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) is also a crucial lead-up event to the iconic $300,000 Group 1 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day, Saturday June 9.
While Kent has confirmed four-year-old Redoute’s Choice mare Absolutely is on the 2012 Brisbane Cup path, he is yet to decide whether she will run in the Chairman’s on Saturday.
Originally Kent had the Chairman’s Handicap earmarked for Absolutely, who was last seen running four lengths away ninth to superstar More Joyous in the Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 21, because of the recent wet weather in Brisbane.
“It looks a nice race for her on Saturday but we’d prefer some give in the track,” Kent said.
“She’s in great nick and we’re trying to get to the Brisbane Cup the best way we can with her.
“It’s three weeks since she last ran in the Doncaster.
“She ran a terrific race in the Doncaster which wasn’t her best distance.
“She drew wide and we hoped she’d be able to get over but she was always deep.
“It was going to be a heavy track that day but it dried out remarkably (to a Dead 5).”
Absolutely is a known mudlark who runs best on a Heavy track, proven by the fact she has failed to finish better than fifth in her seven starts on Good – Dead ground since winning last year’s AJC Oaks on a Heavy (10) in Sydney.
The sunny skies have returned to Queensland this week however and last weekend’s Doomben washout is now back up to a Dead (5) and firming.
“We thought we’d follow the rain so we sent her up there after the Doncaster,” Kent said.
“I’m undecided if she’ll run in the Chairman’s and haven’t locked in the race yet.
“She’s galloped well this week but she likes the give in the ground.
“She competed well in the Caulfield Cup last year when she was only beaten about six lengths (on a Good 3).
Kent also had plans to target the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) Saturday week, May 19 with Absolutely but knew she probably wasn’t up to the class of competitions the event was likely to attract including early $3.70 favourite at bookmaker.com.au Manighar.
“We hoped to go to the Doomben Cup with her but it looks like being a strong race this year,” he said.
The official Chairman’s Handicap final field is due for release later this morning with Races.com.au to publish the full acceptances and race preview.
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