Azkadellia To Take Improvement From Bellmaine Stakes

Azkadellia will return to the races in the 2016 Bellmaine Stakes and trainer Ciaron Maher is confident that the talented mare will take plenty of benefit from her run in the Group 3 event at Caulfield on Saturday.

Ciaron Maher has big plans for Azkadellia during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Ciaron Maher has big plans for Azkadellia during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Azkadellia was sent to the spelling paddock following her eye-catching third behind Politeness and Fenway in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m), but she has been back in work for a couple of months and she finished fourth behind Mourinho in a barrier trial over 800 metres at Cranbourne on February 8.

Maher admits that Azkadellia will be far from her peak in the Bellmaine Stakes, but he told Racing Ahead that he remains hopeful that daughter of Shinko King will make a winning start to her autumn preparation.

“I think she will take a lot of improvement out of it,” Maher said.

“If that was her main aim I would say no, but she is obviously a quality horse and I am training her with an aim to peak in Sydney a bit later on.

“She has had a couple of soft trials and she will be pretty sharp at the 1200.

“I’d say she will be ridden in her usual pattern, probably get back and have a last crack at them.

“Hopefully she is good enough and I know that she will benefit from the run.”

Azkadellia was included in the nominations for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) that were released earlier in the week and Maher revealed that all three races remain potential options for the four-year-old after she runs in the Group 2 Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 27 and the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 12.

“It is a couple of weeks to a 1400 still down here and then we slip up for the Coolmore and the Doncaster,” Maher said.

“She would have to perform really well, but we will keep our options open and there is the Queen Of The Turf as well.

“There are a number of races for her up there or we might even freshen up and head up for the winter for the Stradbroke.”

Azkadellia is currently available at 2016 Doncaster Mile odds of $10 with Ladbrokes and she is on the third line of betting behind Winx ($7) and Press Statement ($9).

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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