Mark Kavanagh’s in-form six-year-old Undeniably will be after atonement in the 2013 Australia Stakes under the lights at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Friday night after narrowly missing out on the win two years ago.
The Fastnet Rock gelding was defeated by the narrowest of margins when Whitefriars stole the show in the final stride of the 2011 Australia Stakes.
Undeniably then missed last year’s edition of the $220,000 Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) after suffering a serious bout of travel sickness in late 2011 which saw them spend the bulk of the next 24 months on the sidelines.
Since they went out for a spell in the autumn two years ago Undeniable had just three runs up until this summer finishing at the back of the pack in all three.
Kavanagh is now hoping they can continue their recent good form after two promising runs this time in.
A first-up second to stablemate Catapulted in the Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) early last month on the back of a six month spell, Undeniably looked back to their best when winning their first race since December of 2011 when putting three quarters of a length on Sea Lord in the Listed X’mas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
They are now one of nine sprinters nominated for the 2013 Australia Stakes as is X’mas Stakes runner-up Sea Lord prepared by the now Victorian-based Stephen Brown who hails from Darwin.
There were a few tense moments during a Flemington trial last week for Kavanagh who watched Undeniably slip not long after the gates went up, jockey Michael Rodd dumped off their back during the kafuffle.
However the horse came through with only one minor scratch and it is all systems go towards the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
“We did have a few moments of worry when he slipped, but he came out, thankfully, in fine shape” Kavanagh said.
“We were concerned at first but he is very much on target for Friday night.
“I think just one little scratch was the only thing to come out of the incident.”
The 2013 Australia Stakes final field and barrier draw will be released on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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