Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival riches could be awaiting Thursday’s Bagot Handicap 2015 winner Averau after the mare’s emphatic Flemington win on New Year’s Day.
The Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 9 and the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) on February 25 were both named as possible targets next month for the Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison-trained Stratum mare.
“The Hobart and the Launceston Cups, we’ve got our eyes upon those, but we’ll just see how she comes through all this and take it day by day,” co-trainer Morgan told Racing.com after the Bagot Handicap win.
The five-year-old has been in flying form this campaign winning three of her past four starts including the $150,000 Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) on Standish Handicap Day.
She came into the staying showdown, her first run at the distance, on the back of a good second when just a nose off Cadillac Mountain in the Listed Werribee Classic (2635m) on December 14.
The Peter Moody-trained Werribee Classic winner also backed up in the Bagot Handicap, but could only manage to run nearly nine lengths away seventh behind the upset winner.
Averau and jockey Linda Meech, aboard for the mare’s seven most recent starts for four wins, had a big three and a half-length margin to spare on the line over the now Mick Cerchi-trained 2012 Sandown Classic winner Tanby ($26).
Danny O’Brien, who won the Standish Handicap at the meeting with Decircles, saddled-up the short-priced Bagot Handicap favourite De Little Engine ($2.50) – the four-year-old suffering his first defeat in four starts when five and a half lengths off the winner in third.
Meech had Averau settled just off the front-runner Mujadale, who held on for fourth, with the eventual winner picking him up on the turn for home.
Down the straight Averau held the lead 400m out but was never in doubt of getting run down as she raced away for an all-too-comfortable win in a top staying effort.
“She just keeps on going,” Morgan said.
“She’s just such a fit horse, we don’t have to do much with her and she just keeps on keeping on. She’s a very good stayer.”
Meech reflected those sentiments saying the mare had natural staying ability and that the way she switched off during the run gave her the energy to storm home by such a tidy margin in the closing stages.
“She just tries her guts out and the other thing about her, you can ride her on a bit of cotton,” she said.
“She never touches the bit in the run and conserves all her energy until she needs it and she also really appreciated the nicer surface today.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the nomination and final field news on the two Tasmanian Summer Cup features to see whether Averua pulls up well enough to make the trip to the Apple Isle.
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2015 Bagot Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 7 – 01/01/2015
|1||7||AVERAU||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Ms Linda Meech||–||12||54kg||$8|
|2||3||TANBY||Mick Cerchi||Jamie Mott||3.5L||2||58.5kg||$26|
|3||6||DE LITTLE ENGINE||Danny O’Brien||James Winks||5.5L||9||54.5kg||$2.50F|
|4||2||MUJADALE||Paul A Jones||Kevin Forrester||5.7L||6||59kg||$16|
|5||11||MARTINVAST (IRE)||Archie Alexander||Dwayne Dunn||5.8L||3||54kg||$13|
|6||1||HURDY GURDY MAN||Darren Weir||John Allen||8.55L||1||60kg||$9|
|7||5||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Peter G Moody||Stephen Baster||8.75L||8||56kg||$7.50|
|8||12||FALAMONTE (NZ)||Robbie Laing||Glen Boss||9.25L||10||54kg||$41|
|9||14||DOMINANT MANNER||Mick Sell||Damien Thornton (a)||9.55L||7||54kg||$201|
|10||9||AUBERGE||John O’Shea||Craig Williams||10.8L||4||54kg||$6|
|11||13||REDNAV||Greg Eurell||Patrick Moloney (a)||16.8L||11||54kg||$21|
|12||8||HALAYR JET||Grant Young||Ms Katelyn Mallyon (a)||26.8L||5||54kg||$81|
|–||10||GREAT LANE||Symon Wilde||Ms Michelle Payne||–||0||–||–|
|–||4||DISTILLATION||Nick Smart||Ms Jamie Kah||–||0||–||–|