Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
After being paid up for at first acceptance stage for both the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup on Tuesday co-trainer Simon Zahra confirmed track and distance specialist Solicit would resume over the 1400m at Flemington in Saturday’s 2014 Let’s Elope Stakes.
The Street Cry mare was one of 17 mares nominated for the $200,000 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) but she will be giving away the fitness edge to a number of classy rivals in the Makybe Diva Stakes Day showdown.
Making her four-year-old debut the promising Solicit will be having her first race since pulling up sore following a dead last when ninth behind and beaten nearly 22 lengths by Diamond Drille in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on April 19.
Before that however she was a close second to Lucia Valentia in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) on a Heavy (8) Rosehill track on Golden Slipper Day.
The Vinery form was franked by the winner then when Lucia Valentia returned with a first-up victory over Tiger Tees in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) last Saturday in Sydney.
A winner of four of her 12 starts to date, Solicit’s latest win was the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) last March.
Her spring last year was also outstanding and concluded with a third when beaten under a quarter length by Kirramosa in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 7.
She has an outstanding record at Flemington with two wins and three thirds from her five starts and is undefeated over the 1400m at the track, which she gets first-up in the Let’s Elope Stakes.
Zahra, who co-trains with Matthew Ellerton, then is hoping that combined with her top first-up record (3-2-0-0) will be enough to see Solicit hold off the likes of Commanding Jewel, Dear Demi and Group 3 Cockram Stakes winner Gregers who have all had a run this time in.
First-up last time in she enjoyed a brilliant three length win in the Group 3 The Mittys Vanity (1400m) at Flemington, an effort Zahra hopes she can emulate here.
“She’s no longer just up against three-year-olds and they’re pretty classy mares to go with it,” he told Racing Victoria after her nice piece of work at the track on Tuesday morning.
“She’s probably not as fit as her opposition but in saying that her fresh runs are fantastic.
“There’s no excuses we’ll just roll forward and ride her how we normally do and see if she’s good enough.”
Her performance in the race, where Cox Plate winning hoop Chad Schofield resuming off a 27-week suspension has the ride, will then help determine where she heads this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
She’s in the mix for both the weight-for-age $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 25 and the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) the week before but connections are yet to lock in a set target.
“This preparation is really about getting her to settle and run a nice distance,” Zahra said.
“At the moment it’s just about getting her to the races and seeing how she performs against the better horses and then we can map out a program.
“Hopefully she’s come back better and we can get a couple of Group 1s under her belt.”
In futures Cox Plate betting Solicit is a $51 outsider in markets led by fellow mare Silent Achiever ($11) while she’s even longer in the Caulfield Cup odds at $67.
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