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Flemington horseman Nigel Blackiston is looking forward to the autumn return of Suavito who could run first-up in February’s Futurity Stakes 2016 after the classy mare missed this year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival due to injury.
It has been a sour spring season for Blackiston who also lost his Melbourne Cup contender Let’s Make Adeal, the Red Ransom mare injuring her near fore tendon and subsequently retiring from racing.
His five-year-old Thorn Park mare Suavito though does get the chance to bounce back after injury with a hopeful title defence in the $400,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 27th.
She won the feature Melbourne Festival of Racing feature during a purple patch of form last autumn that saw her win four straight Group races in Melbourne from October 2014 to March this year, ending with the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) over Sertorius at her home track.
Last time out Suavito, who has won seven of her 18 career starts in total, ran just under five lengths away seventh behind Kermadec in Sydney’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in early April.
Undergoing surgery after that run, the mare is now back in pre-training preparing for what Blackiston hopes can be an atoning autumn for the stable.
“She had three months off after having a small bone chip removed from her knee but she’s just gone back into pre-training down at Eric Musgrove’s and she looks magnificent,” Blackiston told Racing Victoria this week.
“It was a very minor injury and with the time that she had off there was no point bringing her back late in the spring so she’s now had a nice spell and will be ready for the autumn.”
If not the Futurity Stakes first-up, another option for Suavito’s highly-anticipated return is the $400,000 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) that will lead into a run in Flemington’s $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) in March.
“She might kick off in a race like the Futurity Stakes, which she won last year, or maybe the C.F. Orr Stakes with races like the Australian Cup, Coolmore Classic and even the Doncaster again possible targets,” Blackiston said.
The mares’ only $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) takes place at Sydney’s Rosehill Gardens in mid-March before the Doncaster in April.
This weekend’s feature racing in Melbourne takes place at Sandown Hillside, the track host to a nine-race Zipping Classic Day program.
Blackiston has just the one nomination at the meeting with Desert Jeuney entered for the $150,000 Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m).
A six-year-old son of Desert King, Desert Jeuney won over 2000m at Pakenham in mid-October after a close fourth in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley before things went amiss for the gelding last time out.
He raced on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington in the Listed Cup Day Plate (1800m), but could only manage to cross six lengths away 13th of 15 runners behind Awesome Rock.
“Unfortunately he got back in the field with cover as was the plan but nothing in the race made ground and unless you were up on the pace you had no chance,” Blackiston said of the run.
“He’s been up a long time but he’s had a couple of breaks at the beach and he’s a happy horse that’s doing very well and I think he’s got one more good run left in him.”
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