The long road to making the Caulfield Cup 2015 field begins at Flemington on Saturday for the Sue Jaensch-trained stayer Albonetti who runs second-up for the season looking to add to her prize money earned in time for October classic.
A six-year-old daughter of Ustinov, Albonetti was last seen running sixth first-up at the same Flemington track over 1400m behind the likes of Charmed Harmony (1st) and Pago Rock (2nd) on July 18.
The mare returns to the famous Victorian course this weekend on Aurie’s Star Handicap Day and contests Race 4 – the $80,000 Julie Aldridge & Cynthia Norton Handicap (1700m).
It is a long five hour drive from Jaensch’s Naracoorte stables in South Australia to Melbourne, but she hopes it pays off with a win from Albonetti in the BenchMark 90 on Saturday.
Drawn in barrier eight with Linda Meech booked for the ride, the Adelaide raider is well weighted on 54.5kg and is at single figures for the win through Ladbrokes.com.au in markets led by the market mover Abbasso ($3.30).
After opening at $4.50, Chris Waller’s in-form favourite Abbasso has been well backed to secure his third win on the trot, the Encosta De Lago five-year-old having won at Sale and then over the Flemington mile in July at his two most recent runs.
Albonetti meanwhile pays $7.50 to post her first victory since a first-up success over 1511m at home at Morphettville last August.
Good form followed after that including a third to Longshoreman in the Listed Balaklava Cup (1600m) and a fourth in Caulfield’s Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m).
Stepped up in class for the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) over the mile and a half last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Albonetti ran sixth to Big Memory in that race as a 20/1 shot before things went amiss in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m).
In that run on Cox Plate Day last year the mare dislodged jockey Chad Schofield and tore a ligament in her shoulder, Jaensch giving her a lengthy spell to recover.
“She tore a ligament in a shoulder and that’s why she needed a long break,” she told AAP.
On Tuesday Jaensch threw in a nomination for Albonetti in the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) held on October 17, but admits the horse needs to win a few races and boost her prize money between now and then to keep the dream of a Cup run alive.
“I would think after Saturday if we could find an 1800 metre or 2000 metre race that would suit then that’s the way we’ll go,” Jaensch, who also has Letmedowngently resuming in Race 3 at Flemington on Saturday, said.
“After that we would then slot her into races that would get her into the Caulfield Cup.”
Futures Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Japan’s Fame Game and Kiwi-trained Australian Derby winner Mongolian Khan installed as the early $13 favourites.
Albonetti meanwhile can be found further down the all-in Caulfield Cup betting markets at a juicy $81 for an upset.
To check out all the markets for this weekend and the upcoming Spring Group 1s head to Ladbrokes.com.au where your first deposit will also be matched by the house up to $500 as a bonus bet when you quote the code BETBONUS!