Trainer Matthew Smith says all the signs are pointing towards an improved run from his smart mare Cabernet when she takes on the summer’s best off-season gallopers in the Villiers Stakes 2012 Saturday week at Sydney’s Warwick Farm Racecourse.
A six-year-old daughter of Al Maher, Cabernet has won six of her 22 career starts to date including the Listed Summoned Stakes (1500m) two back at Sandown where she beat Group 2 winner Skyerush by nearly a length.
She went up against the boys after three straight runs in mares-only company last time out and was far from disgraced when crossing just over a length away fifth to Malavio in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m).
Malavio has since been ruled out of the $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) on December 22 due to a minor injury to his near-side front knee.
“It is nothing serious but he has some arthritic changes in a knee and if we keep him going for the Villiers, we could do some irreparable damage,” trainer Steve Englebrect said on Wednesday of the injury they picked up on after a Tuesday track gallop.
“So he’ll have to go for a spell.
“We have been aiming him at the Villiers for months and it’s disappointing but it’s not the end of the road.
“By giving him three months off now, he will be fine. He’s only four and is lightly raced, so it is all ahead of him. The Sydney autumn carnival is out but there is still a hope for Brisbane in the winter.”
Cabernet meanwhile has pulled up well after the Festival Stakes and will be pressing onto the Villiers Stakes 2012, a race Smith is hoping she can win to add another stakes win to her record.
“Cabernet had three weeks between runs before the Festival and there is no doubt she has taken improvement from that race,” Smith said.
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