Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Despite failing in her two latest Group 1 targets over the autumn, Abbey Marie will be given the chance to return to elite level form with trainer Michael Kent aiming the mare at the 2017 Caulfield Cup in Melbourne this spring.
The well-bred daughter of Redoute’s Choice kicked off her career with three straight wins last year including the victory over Silent Sedition in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) in Adelaide.
She missed the entire spring racing season following that due to a run of poor health including an infection and a case of laminitis.
Returning in February of this year, the four-year-old failed to reach the same heights finishing out of the money in all four of her 2017 runs.
In March she was a well-beaten 16th to Heavens Above in Rosehill’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m), injuring her hamstring in the process.
The luckless mare was then over five lengths off the winner Foxplay last start at Randwick on April 8 in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m), a run the Cranbourne-based Kent was pleased with under the circumstances.
“She ran really well in the race Foxplay won,” Kent told AAP.
“She just had not much luck and it was very heavy ground.”
Kent now remains hopeful he can get the lightly-raced mare back to peak form this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival where her major aim is the $3.15 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 21.
Kent has saddled-up four Caulfield Cup horses since 1983 without a top three finish, something he hopes to change with Abbey Marie in 2017.
“She’s had a good break, she’s come back and we’re sort of on a Caulfield Cup prep,” he said.
“We’d like to see her get to that distance. That’s where she’s going to be effective so we’ll just head along that route.
“She’s come up really well. I just hope she gets back to her best.”
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