A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
Ciaron Maher’s multiple Group 1 winning mare Srikandi is taking longer than expected to recover from an injury sustained last November and will miss this year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The $2.37 million earner suffered a stress fracture during her run for fifth behind Delectation at Flemington last Melbourne Cup Carnival in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
She hasn’t been back to the track since and Maher has also now ruled out a spring return for his five-year-old daughter of Dubawi.
Srikandi was in flying form before her injury winning the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap – Tattersall’s Tiara double in Queensland last June and racing second first-up on Cox Plate Eve at Moonee Valley under the lights behind Chautauqua in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
Things went amiss in the Darley Classic on November 7 during her brave run that saw her beaten only 1.6 lengths and Maher isn’t pushing her in her recovery.
“There’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge with her but I don’t think that she’ll be competing in the spring, maybe the autumn,” he told Racing Victoria.
“She had a stress fracture that just needed a bit of time and it seems fine but she’s just resting in the paddock.
“With those types of injuries you just gradually give them a bit of work and then see how it responds before putting them on a program.”
Maher might not have Srikandi right in time for the spring, but he still has a very strong contingent of mares targeting the Melbourne riches.
His two Crown Oaks winners Set Square (2014) and Jamkea (2015) worked alongside each other at Caulfield on Tuesday morning and are set to face off under race conditions first-up on August 13 in the $200,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
The older of the two, rising five-year-old Set Square will then head towards the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 3, a race she finished third to Preferment in last year, and then possibly the $150,000 Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 17.
The Naturalism Stakes winner is exempt from ballot in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), held on October 15, which is Set Square’s ultimate aim after her failed 16th in the mile and a half classic last year.
Myboycharlie filly Jameka meanwhile, who was on fire during the autumn with a Rosehill Guineas third and ATC Derby second before a last start fourth in the ATC Oaks in Sydney, will head towards both the 2016 Caulfield Cup and the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) over the two miles on November 1.
Of the two, Jameka is the shortest-priced in futures Caulfield Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $21 in markets led by Winx ($15) who won last year’s Cox Plate.
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