John Sadler’s consistent Flemington-based mare Lady Melksham is gearing up for a run at her home track this weekend ahead of a likely trip to Adelaide for the2013 Robert Sangster Stakes at the end of the month.
The four-year-old daughter of Artie Schiller, winner of the Group 3 Cockram Stakes in the mud at Caulfield last August, has had just the eight starts to date producing five good wins on tracks ranging from a Good (3) to a Heavy (10).
After a five month break following a disappointing last during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival last October the versatile mare showed she was ready for another even bigger campaign this autumn with a close first-up win over 955m at Moonee Valley on March 15.
With regular rider Glen Boss in the saddle, who retains the ride again this weekend, she carried a hefty 58.5kg to victory giving away 5.5 kilos to runner-up Chinzia.
This weekend she runs at Flemington second-up in the $80,000 Yarraville Handicap (1000m) as a tune-up for her maiden elite level assignment in the prestigious $400,000 Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m).
While confident she will be the one to beat this weekend, Sadler admits that Lady Melksham is still a little underdone as he is keeping her fresh for the big one in South Australia.
“She hasn’t gone backwards since her first-up win but she’s certainly been trained for the Sangster,” he said.
“I haven’t screwed her down at all yet. She wasn’t 100 per cent ready first-up and she’s not 100 per cent for Saturday. But she doesn’t need to be to win these shorter races.”
Along with the short sprint distance another thing that will play to the mare’s advantage this weekend would be some rain, the known mudlark good on all grounds but proven to be especially efficient on Heavy tracks.
“She’s a good-class mare as her form will tell you,” Sadler said.
“But she’s probably even better on rain-affected ground. She’s a very good wet tracker and that would help her in a big race.”
Registered as the Sportingbet Classic this year’s Robert Sangster is due to run at Morphettville Racecourse on April 27, which is Sydney Cup Day in New South Wales, Lady Melksham with some big shoes to fill with the fillies and mares’ classic having been won 12 months ago by the undefeated queen Black Caviar in her Adelaide debut.
Sadler could also be represented in this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) on Robert Sangster Day by his imported filly Energia Elegante who has had just one run to date.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the upcoming Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival news and updates.
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