Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
David Jolly’s talented Adelaide galloper Avoid Lightning will look to prove their potential in Melbourne this autumn racing season when they vie for their first interstate win in Saturday’s 2013 WJ Adams Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse.
The four-year-old Blevic mare, last seen finishing a brave first-up second to Sumakaray when carrying a hefty 58kg in a 1000m handicap at Moonee Valley on December 29, is dually accepted for this weekend but Jolly is leaning towards the Melbourne start.
Also in the mix for the $40,000 Veolia Handicap (1050m) back home at Morphettville where she would jump from gate one carrying 57kg, the bigger prize money and prestige of the $120,000 Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) looks the more appealing option having attracted just seven starters.
“The last couple of sprints there (in Melbourne) have been smallish fields and to be honest, I would have expected them to be a bit stronger with a bit more depth,” Jolly said.
“This one fits in nicely for her and depending on how she goes she could then bounce into something even better.”
Avoid Lightning has drawn barrier five for the WJ Adams with star hoop Craig Williams engaged for the ride replacing apprentice jockey Adam McCabe and she would enjoy a favourable drop back to just 54kg under the handicap conditions of the black type.
Her weight, last start run and also having won the Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) on a Slow (7) at home last July all combine to make Avoid Lightning a genuine WJ Adams stakes chance and as such the bookies have her installed as the $3.20 second pick behind veteran sprinter First Command ($2.60).
She also has previous race experience at the track having run a good fourth to Lady Melksham in the Group 3 WW Cockram Stakes (1200m) in the mud here back in August.
Jolly will use the in-form mare’s run on the weekend as a gauge to where she is at this time in and whether it is worth pursuing the better races of the Melbourne Festival of Racing including the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1600m) at Flemington on March 9 for which she currently holds a nomination.
“This might tell us a bit about where to go with her,” Jolly said.
“She could possibly go to one or two of the major sprints, or go back to mares grade.
“We could also freshen her up and wait for our carnival (in Adelaide).”
In the current futures Newmarket Handicap odds Avoid Lightning is a $101 roughie.
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