Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes is confident the team’s proven two miler La Amistad is on track for a 2015 Melbourne Cup bid this spring with the mare’s campaign to continue at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend.
Winner of the Listed Ramsden Stakes (3200m), Flemington’s other two mile race, back in May the six-year-old daughter of Redoute’s Choice is nominated for Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m).
Known this season as the Bendigo Bank East Malver MRC Foundation Cup, the Naturalism offers a ballot exemption to the winner for the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17 and has attracted a bumper 30 nominees.
In the race La Amistad will be out to atone for a first-up 10th when beaten over eight lengths by Magnapal at the same track on Memsie Stakes Day, August 29, in the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m).
The extra metres will certainly help her cause as from her six wins she is yet to win over anything less than 2100m and is a genuine stayer needing at least one more run according to Hawkes.
“She’s on song and is going really well but it won’t be her race yet,” he told Racing Victoria.
Along with Sydney’s $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 that she is an unlikely acceptor for, La Amistad is also in the mix for both the 2015 Caulfield Cup a fortnight later as well as ‘the race that stops a nation’.
Her long range goal is the world’s richest handicap with the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) to run at Flemington on Tuesday November 3.
Despite previous winning form at the Melbourne Cup track and distance, La Amistad is only rated a $51 chance in the futures odds for Australia’s premier race through Ladbrokes.com.au.
If she makes it to Melbourne Cup Day she will be looking to become the first Melbourne Cup winning mare since the mighty Makybe Diva (2003 – 2005).
Between the Naturalism and the Group 1 races, Hawkes confirmed the mare was targeting the $300,000 Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) on Turnbull Stakes Day on the Sunday after The Metrop in Sydney in early October.
“By the time the Bart Cummings comes around she’ll be coming into her own but in saying that the Bart Cummings might end up being a crackerjack race now that it offers a ballot exempt place into the Melbourne Cup,” he said.
Some of the other more notable Naturalism Stakes nominations taken for Saturday include The Metropolitan Handicap top weight Our Ivanhowe, the Chris Waller-trained Doomben Cup third placed veteran I’m Imposing, Robert Hickmott’s last start Moonee Valley winning import Chance To Dance, his stablemate who ran second in the same lead-up race The United States and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Excess Knowledge.
To get behind La Amistad next race and to check out the full futures Melbourne Cup betting markets ahead of November visit Ladbrokes.com.au today!