David Jolly is looking forward to the big race meeting at Morphettville this weekend as he prepares to saddle-up his exciting mare Avoid Lightning in the Robert Sangster Stakes 2013.
Also known as the Sportingbet Classic this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) attracted 25 nominations including Jolly’s always-honest Blevic four-year-old Avoid Lightning.
While there’s a whole host of talented interstate entries in this year’s Robert Sangster including Gerald Ryan’s flying filly Snitzerland, Jolly is hoping his local runner can show the raiders where to go and keep the trophy at home in Adelaide.
Avoid Lightning certainly has consistency on her side having finished out of the money on just two occasions boasting six victories and four minor placings over her promising 12 start career to date.
Her biggest victories so far have been in the Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) last July at home and more recently the Listed WJ Adams Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield back in early February.
At her most recent run Avoid Lightning drew a disastrously wide barrier (13 of 16) and did extremely well to still come within just over half a length of the Peter Moody-trained winner Kulgrinda, also nominated for the Robert Sangster this weekend, in the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m) on April 13.
“She looked to be paddling half way down the straight and really rallied late,” Jolly said.
“She drew deep and had to travel wide so it was a terrific effort. I really think she goes best on the bigger tracks so Morphettville suits.”
Jolly is hoping to see improvement from his mare this weekend and believes with the right gate and a bit of luck she can be competitive yet again and perhaps even break that Group 1 maiden status should the heaven’s open up and let down some rain.
“She’s bred to eat the mud being by Blevic out of a Success Express mare,” Jolly, who enjoyed his only Group 1 win to date at Morphettville back in 2002 with Zip Zip Aray winning the Goodwood Handicap, said.
“She’s a tough little thing with a good constitution and we’re just looking for that touch of luck she hasn’t had this time in.
“It’s a long time ago so it would be special to win another Group 1.”
And Saturday will be Avoid Lightning’s last chance to hand him with that Group 1 success this time in as she won’t be pressing onto the $500,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 11 regardless of the Robert Sangster Stakes result.
“I’ve thought about pushing on to the Goodwood (in a fortnight) with Avoid Lightning but she’ll be in the paddock after the weekend,” Jolly confirmed.
The 2013 Robert Sangster Stakes final field and barriers will be released on Wednesday.
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