Suavito will return to the races in the 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday and trainer Nigel Blackiston could not be happier with his star mare.
Suavito took out both the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) during her autumn campaign last year and she was set for a crack at the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in the spring, but she required surgery to remove a bone chip from her knee and missed the entire 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
Blackiston said that Suavito’s injury was never that serious, but he did not want to rush the daughter of Thorn Park back to the races and he is happy with the lengthy grounding he has given her ahead of the 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes.
“It has been a long time coming,” Blackiston said.
“We have been patient with ten months off, but she is in great order.
“The actual problem that she had was very minute, but after the timeframe she had off after the operation, there was no point rushing her back for the end of the spring carnival because there was nothing there for her.
“She has been back in work now for nearly three months and she has had two very good trials at Flemington.
“In the amount that she has grown and developed, for me she has improved.
“After the length of time that she has had off, if she can finish off well and run in the first half a dozen and be competitive then I will go home happy.”
Suavito has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 12 as well as the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in Sydney.
The Group 1 winning mare finished a credible seventh in the Doncaster Mile last year, but Blackiston said that she never handled the track and the weather will likely dictate the path the five-year-old follows his preparation.
“We put nominations in for the Doncaster and the Queen Of The Turf,” Blackiston said.
“It obviously depends on the weather.
“The Doncaster last year was absolutely bottomless and she ran super, but she never handled the track.”
Suavito is currently available at 2016 Orr Stakes odds of $15 with Ladbrokes, while Lucky Hussler ($4.60) is now a narrow favourite from Turn Me Loose ($4.80), Boban ($8), Bow Creek ($10) and Fawkner ($15).