Lady Melksham will contest the Listed Drummond Golf Stakes (formerly known as the Macleod Stakes) (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday after she missed out on runs in the Hocking Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield and the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington last weekend.
The consistent mare was withdrawn from the Hocking Handicap after drawing an outside barrier and was ruled out of the Let’s Elope Stakes due to a minor injury she suffered when she got away from her handler near a pool last week.
Lady Melksham has not appeared at the races since she finished fifth behind Octavia in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 17 but despite the delay between runs trainer John Sadler expects her to be competitive at Moonee Valley this Saturday.
“We were going to run her in the Let’s Elope last Saturday but she got away from the pony,” Sadler told Thoroughmedia.
“She didn’t do herself too much damage but it was enough not to run her.
“The Cockram stood up pretty well in the Let’s Elope and I was pleased to see that.
“She had has just the one start at the Valley for a win and I think that she will be competitive.
“It is good strong racing at the moment and you really want to have your horse going extremely well and hopefully she is.”
Sadler has not decided on a major 2013 Spring Racing Carnival target for the daughter of Artie Schiller and he said he will reassess his plans after the lightly-raced five-year-old returns to the races on Saturday.
“I will wait and see how she goes,” Sadler said.
“Maybe she might back and run in the How Now the following weekend but we will just get over Saturday first.”
Lady Melksham will need to be at her very best to record her sixth career victory in the Macleod Stakes, with a number of classy horses included Budriguez, Rekindled Interest and Elite Elle included in the final field for the race.
Blamey Stakes winner Budriguez and Rekindled Interest, who will be returning to the races for the first time since he finished at the tail of the field in the 2012 edition of the Cox Plate, will both carry the top weight of 61kg, while last-start winner Elite Elle appears well-weighted with only 54kg.