The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Crown Oaks winner Lasqueti Spirit returns to racing on Thursday at Hawkesbury Racecourse kicking off her spring campaign in the 2017 Rowley Mile field.
The Lee Curtis-trained daughter of Beneteau is one of 10 gallopers to line-up in this season’s Listed $150,000 Rowley Mile (1600m) and faces a big ask first-up carrying the 59kg top weight.
Bookmakers have reacted accordingly and only rate the mare a $31 chance in the latest Rowley Mile odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au with the flying Gai Waterhouse-trained Arbeitsam ($1.50) the odds-on favourite for the win.
Lasqueti Spirit is best known for her all-the-way upset as a $101 roughie in last November’s Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.
That massive boilover, which saw her defeat Harlow Gold by nearly four lengths, remains her sole turf triumph in 16 starts.
Her other two best performances in elite grade were a second to the heroic mare Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) in late February this year and her more recent third to Bonneval at Randwick in April’s Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) back up over a mile and a half.
The mare hasn’t raced since she failed to see out the two miles on a Heavy (8) track in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) a fortnight after the ATC Oaks when 12th to the winner Polarisation.
Curtis has trialled her twice since at Rosehill (1000m) and Warwick Farm (1200m) respectively this month and knows she’ll definitely need the Rowley Mile run before punters see the best out of her.
“Her first trial was terrible and her second was a bit better,” Curtis told AAP.
“I wouldn’t expect to see too much from her until she gets up over ground.
“The aim is to run her in the Chelmsford Stakes and the Kingston Town on the way to The Metropolitan and St Leger.
“Those last two races will give us a better guide how she’s going and whether she goes back to Melbourne.”
The Group 2 $250,000 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) runs at Randwick on September 2 followed by the Group 3 $150,000 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) back at the track a fortnight later.
Lasqueti Spirit’s first spring Group 1 assignment, the $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m), is scheduled for September 30 and in futures markets the mare sits at around $34 for the win.
On Thursday Crown Oaks winning hoop Brenton Avdulla reunites with the four-year-old for the first time since guiding her to a fifth behind Jameka in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) on March 25.
Avdulla was also in the saddle for her latest trial and will give Curtis a post-race appraisal on how the mare is travelling after the Rowley Mile is run and won.
To back your Rowley Mile favourites this week and to access the top all-in Group 1 racing odds and offers over the spring visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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