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Four-year-old horse Adelaide made his first public appearance since winning the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in a barrier trial on Tuesday morning. It was also the first appearance for the Irish galloper under the care of new trainer Chris Waller.
Originally trained by Aidan O’Brien and based at Ballydoyle Stables in Ireland, Adelaide raced the world over before travelling to Australia for the first time during the spring, making his sole start in the Cox Plate. He was eased over heels to be last out of the straight but took off at the 1000m mark to improve, gradually working around the field. He got up to the leaders at the turn and outstayed his rivals to win by a head.
When Adelaide’s connections decided to keep the horse in Australia for the upcoming autumn carnival, he was transferred to Waller’s stables at Rosehill.
He couldn’t figure in his first public appearance of the year, a 900-metre barrier trial, in which he ran seventh in a field of nine, yet Waller isn’t concerned.
The trainer and jockey Hugh Bowman decided to give Adelaide the opportunity to race closer to the speed, something he’s not used to, to help him adjust to Australian racing conditions.
“He was a touch slow early and he was on and off the bridle on a tight turning track. It’s all a bit different for him,” Waller told Sky Racing.
“But I’ve learnt to be mindful with the European horses not to fire them up too quickly.
“They ran along quickly and Hugh said he could have dropped him out and let him run on.
“But he wanted to take him out of his comfort zone a bit because it’s going to be that way in a race like the Queen Elizabeth.”
The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) is Adelaide’s main autumn goal but Waller has yet to confirm a first-up run for the four-year-old.
Adelaide is set to have one more trial before returning to racing and will then likely have just one run before the 2015 Queen Elizabeth on April 11.
“As for a first-up run I’m not sure yet but he’ll definitely have one more trial before he goes to the races,” Waller said.
Adelaide is currently on the second line of betting in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes futures betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, at odds of $6.50.
Japanese raider To The World is the $5 favourite to win the $4 million race during The Championships on his first trip to Australia.
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