Connections of injury-prone stayer Lamasery have named the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2013 on Sydney Cup Day as the major Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival aim ahead of their possible race return this Saturday at Rosehill.
David Vandyke’s six-year-old Commands gelding hasn’t raced since their firth to Glencadam Gold in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) last October which followed a Group 2 Hill Stakes win over 2000m.
Their spring was cut short due to a fractured pelvis obtained during their Metropolitan but Lamasery is on track to return this weekend in the $175,000 Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) following three recent trials most recently when second to Cantonese over 1200m at Warwick Farm on Tuesday morning.
“He ran a nice trial,” Vandyke said.
“He was ridden quiet. He was back in the field, came through the middle of the ruck and got to the line nicely.”
Drawn in gate nine with the 58.5kg second heaviest weight behind Gai Waterhouse’s English import Carlton House (59kg), Lamasery will face a smart field of gallopers should they run in the Ajax including last start Liverpool City Cup winner Skyerush and narrow Chipping Norton Stakes runner-up Monton.
Vandyke said there is still a chance they will bypass the Ajax and save Lamasery’s return for the following Saturday in the $400,000 Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on Golden Slipper Day leading into their major aim, the $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 27.
“We will either run him in the Ajax and then second up in the Queen Elizabeth with maybe a trial in between or we will be running in the George Ryder next week and go into the Queen Elizabeth from there,” Vandyke said.
“His main target now will be the Queen Elizabeth.
“He is coming to hand a bit slower this prep than he has in previous preparations.
“I’ve nominated him for the Ajax on Saturday and I am thinking he might run but I will make a decision on Saturday morning.”
They are also still officially among the nominees for the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) the week before the Queen Elizabeth and are currently paying $61 in the Doncaster Mile odds.
Lamasery could be joined in the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field next month by stablemate Less Is More with Vandyke also preparing the imported stayer for the classic.
The Beat Hollow gelding has been with Lamasery since last spring but is yet to break their maiden status down under.
“He will run in the Doncaster Prelude two weeks from Saturday and he will also be targeted towards the Queen Elizabeth,” Vandyke said.
“We rushed him into that preparation (during the spring).
“It wasn’t an ideal preparation for him and yet he ran an incredible race against Mourayan (when fourth) in the Craven Plate.
“In that run he proved to us he had the ability to win at weight-for-age and we will look to take him to Queensland for the carnival and unlike Lamasery, he does handle the wet.”
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