Trainer Ciaron Maher has confirmed Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival plans to target the Doncaster Mile 2016 during April’s The Championships with his Myer Classic placegetter Azkadellia this time in.
The four-year-old daughter of Shinko King boasts a consistent record of four wins and four minor placings from her nine starts to date including her brave third when beaten under a length by Politeness in Flemington’s Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) last Victoria Derby Day.
Azkadellia hasn’t raced since her Melbourne Cup Carnival elite level placing, but Maher is plotting her autumn return and campaign hoping to get her all the way to the $3 million Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 2.
He plans to run her first-up in Saturday week’s $150,000 Group 3 Geoffrey Belmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on CF Orr Stakes Day and is hoping for rain-affected tracks throughout the autumn.
“We’ll try and get her into the Doncaster with a light weight, she likes wet tracks and I think she’s pretty strong at a mile,” Maher, who is yet to prepare a Doncaster Mile winner, told Racing Victoria.
Azkadellia has had three runs on Soft tracks for a win, a second and a third and saluted in her only Heavy track start to date on debut back in July of 2014.
Current all-in Doncaster Mile odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Chris Waller’s Cox Plate winning mare Winx installed as the $8 favourite just ahead of her Caulfield Guineas winning stablemate Press Statement ($9).
Dual Group 1 saluting Hinchinbrook colt Press Statement is also nominated for a host of Melbourne majors including the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) over the Flemington mile on March 5.
He is the $8 second favourite in all-in Australian Guineas betting and is nominated for the $150,000 Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens at home in Sydney this weekend.
Azkadellia meanwhile occupies the third line of futures Doncaster Mile betting at $11.
Maher is also looking at a Sandown trial next week for his Street Boss filly Petits Filous, a winner of four of her five career runs to date.
The Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) winner at Caulfield last August was last seen stepping up to elite level class at Moonee Valley in early October where she could only manage to finish four lengths away 10th to Robert Heathcote’s multiple champion Buffering.
A first-up run and confirmed autumn targets are not yet set in stone for Petits Filous, but Maher said he was pleased with her progression over the break.
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