Flemington’s Nigel Blackiston is eyeing a Memsie Stakes 2016 run at home early in the spring for his dual Group 1 winning mare Suavito who has come back “bigger and stronger” this season.
Suavito missed last year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, but in 2014 the classy daughter of Thorn Park enjoyed a Group 3 Cox Plate Day win and Group 2 success at Flemington Racecourse on Emirates Stakes Day.
Her autumn campaign in 2015 was her best yet and saw her take out the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
She returned this February and enjoyed a second elite level win with a smart effort over Lucky Hussler first-up off a lengthy injury-enforced break in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) also held at Caulfield Racecourse.
A third in the Futurity when failing to defend her title followed before two disappointing unplaced runs.
Suavito was last seen crossing 10 lengths away 11th behind Azkadellia in the Group 1 Queen Of the Turf Stakes (1600m) on April 9 at Randwick during ‘The Championships’.
She stepped up her work ahead of a spring return on Friday morning at Flemington with a strong 800m hit-out with Damien Oliver in the saddle, impressing Blackiston with the run and how she’s progressed over her break.
“I’m very happy with her, she’s got bigger and stronger,” Blackiston said trackside on Friday morning.
“I have to say, at home she is a lot more relaxed than she’s been in the past, which I hope is a good thing.
“She’ll be at the jumpouts here on the course proper in two weeks, so she can have a more solid trial then.”
Hall of Famer Oliver has ridden the rising six-year-old for 10 of her 22 career starts including her Futurity win, before Luke Currie took over for her 2016 campaign earlier in the year.
Blackiston has earmarked next month’s $200,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 13 as the first-up run for Suavito with Oliver likely to reunite with the $1.29 million earner.
“She trialled well,” Oliver told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“It was her first trial back, she just had an easy comfortable kind of trial – she finished, I think, third just a few lengths off them – but she seems to have come back really well.”
The 2016 PB Lawrence Stakes is shaping up as a hot early spring guide with the likes of Set Square, stablemate Jameka and Awesome Rock all earmarked for the weight-for-age clash.
Second-up Blackiston hopes to have Suavito ready for a big run back at Caulfield on August 27 in the $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), a race won last year by the Chris Waller-trained Boban who has since retired from racing.
The last Memsie Stakes winner to back-up off a PB Lawrence Stakes run was Weekend Hussler (2nd) in 2008 when the Group 2 was known as the JJ Liston Stakes.
Blackiston has had just the one previous Memsie Stakes runner without success, while Oliver has had 17 rides in the race for one win, three seconds and a third.
His Memsie Stakes victory was back in 1998 aboard the Bart Cummings-trained mare Dane Ripper.
Since then a further seven mares have beaten home the boys in the Memsie Stakes with the latest being Atlantic Jewel for Mark Kavanagh in 2013.
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