Adelaide beat home only two horses in a barrier trial over 900 metres at Rosehill Gardens this morning, but Coolmore Australia Racing Manager James Bester said that he was satisfied with the performance of the 2015 Cox Plate winner.
Jockey Hugh Bowman was forced to ride Adelaide strongly in the early stages of the barrier trial in order to settle him in a midfield position and the Galileo entire only hit the line fairly, but Bester told Sky Racing that was exactly what they were expecting from the four-year-old, who had never previously contested a barrier trial.
“Adelaide did exactly what we expected,” Bester said.
“He found it all a little too hectic; I don’t think he has ever had to go that fast early in his life before.
“He was pretty laidback about it and Hugh Bowman said that he just had to keep his mind on the job.
“He is a horse that is use to finding his feet, getting into a rhythm and then finding a turn-of-foot to get him home, but we are pleased in that we didn’t expect any sort of a different trial over 900 metres.
“The whole point was that he just went out to learn something about jumping out of the barriers at that speed.
“This was all a learning curve and that is why we trial them.”
There has been plenty of speculation that Adelaide would return to the races in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 before he contests the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11, but Bester said that this was not necessarily the case.
Bester confirmed that the Queen Elizabeth Stakes was the major 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign for Adelaide, but he said that a decision about his return to racing would not be made until after he has another barrier trial.
“At the end of the day we know what he can do, he has won a Cox Plate, and he is being prepared to get to The Championships and the Queen Elizabeth,” Waller said.
“The Queen Elizabeth is the target, but despite what we keep reading in the newspapers we haven’t decided yet where we will kick-off.
“The talk of the George Ryder is premature.
“I’m not saying he wouldn’t start in that, but it is kind of assumed by the newspapers.
“He will trial again on the third of March or he might have a racecourse gallop.
“At that point Chris would have measured him against other horses going for those sort of races and decide where to kick him off.”
Adelaide will have the chance to become the first horse since Our Poetic Prince in 1989 to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes after winning the Cox Plate the previous spring.