2016 Adelaide Cup Option for Ferro Nero

After scratching out from a mid-week Sandown-Lakeside run on Wednesday the Nigel Blackiston-trained Ferro Nero will run this Saturday at Flemington on way to a possible Adelaide Cup 2016 raid in March.

Nigel Blackiston

Nigel Blackiston hopes his progressive stayer Ferro Nero will develop into a 2016 Adelaide Cup contender for March. Photo: Sarah Ebbett.

Blackiston’s Melbourne-trained Savabeel four-year-old was one of a host of scratchings across the Ladbrokes Park Lakeside card due to the hot weather in Victoria on Wednesday.

The progressive gelding was accepted to run in the third, a Benchmark 78 over 2400m, but Blackiston withdrew him from the race subsequently won by the Danny O’Brien-trained Bajour.

“Tomorrow is just going to be too hot,” Blackiston told AAP back on Tuesday.

“He might go there and run really well (tomorrow), but it’s how they recover and it could put an end to your whole program.”

Instead Ferro Nero will now race at home at Flemington Racecourse on Chester Manifold Stakes Day on Saturday in the fourth, the $90,000 Rain Lover Handicap (2500m).

It’s a crack field in the staying clash where Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir will saddle-up his flying four-year-old Leica Day who has won four of his past five starts.

Each run the Any Given Saturday geldings thrives over more distance, his latest win being over 2040m at Moonee Valley on January 2, and Lecia Day looks every hope of handing the 2500m.

Ferro Nero is proven up to 2100m and also sees the 2500m for the first time on Saturday on the back of a last start win.

The in-form improver has won two of his past three including his last on December 30 at Sandown-Lakeside, but shoots for his first win at his third start at Flemington.

For last month’s victory Ferro Nero carried 54kg to victory and will be a genuine light weight hope in exotics with apprentice Michael Dee (a2) making a claim on the same 54kg light weight for the horse this weekend.

Blackiston is confident the stayer will appreciate the extra metres this weekend on the back of his strong 2100m win that indicated he could make a nice type for the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville Racecourse in South Australia on Monday, February 14.

“His sectionals last start were quite incredible. He’s always shown to me that he’s a horse with above average ability,” Blackiston said.

“It would give me a good guide if he could measure up to something like the Adelaide Cup.”

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