The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Saturday’s 2018 CF Orr Stakes field will not feature Darren Weir’s Cox Plate runner-up Humidor who could also bypass an Australian Cup title defence this autumn.
The lead-up campaign for the gun five-year-old is behind schedule according to Weir’s foreman Jarrod McLean who confirmed the non-acceptance for Humidor in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield this weekend.
“He’s a little bit behind,” McLean admitted to Racing Victoria from Terang on Tuesday morning.
“He’s not a horse that does great in the paddock.
“If he was to race on Saturday, he’d be a bit underdone.
“He’s nominated for Saturday but at this stage I am told we’ll give him one more trial and then head to the Futurity first-up.”
Held on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 24, the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) will attract a similar field to the CF Orr Stakes at the same track and distance.
A five-year-old son of Teofilo, Humidor caught the eye in the spring giving Winx one mighty challenge when runner-up to Chris Waller’s superstar in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).
Humidor, a Kiwi expat and dual Group 1 winner down under, backed-up to run a disappointing 19th to Rekindling when outstayed in the iconic Melbourne Cup (3200m).
McLean said there was no rush getting Humidor back to the races where the galloper will be vying for his first victory since defeating Hartnell in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last September by over three lengths.
That means the horse could also bypass the Group 1 $1.5 million Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on ‘Super Saturday’, March 10, a race Humidor won over Jameka last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
“If he gets to the Australian Cup he gets there but at this stage races like the Queen Elizabeth and Doomben Cup in May are real good targets for him,” McLean added.
“There’s no real hurry or urgency to get him to an Australian Cup.”
Despite doubts about him running, Humidor remains the $9 third favourite in pre-field Australian Cup odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au behind stablemate Tosen Stardom ($6) and the reigning Melbourne Cup winner Johannes Vermeer ($8) who is now raced in Australia by Liam Howley for Lloyd Williams.
The Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) is the autumn’s richest race and takes place at Randwick on April 14 during ‘The Championships’.
It remains a likely option for the defending champ Winx third-up despite the mare’s campaign kick-off being delayed until March 3 in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) due to the suspension of hoop Hugh Bowman.
Humidor meanwhile is yet to race at Royal Randwick with his sole Sydney start to date being a second to Jameka in last March’s Group 1 The BMW (2400m).
All-in 2018 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds have Winx at $1.50, while Humidor is the $11 second favourite.
As for the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m), that weight-for-age Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival feature takes place on May 19.
Weir is still set to saddle-up three CF Orr Stakes runners on Saturday with Tosen Stardom, fellow Japanese import Brave Smash and the reigning champ Black Heart Bart in the mix.
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