My Ambivalent has not had an ideal 2014 Melbourne Cup preparation, but trainer Roger Varian remains confident that the talented mare is good enough to win the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
My Ambivalent was ruled out of the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 due to bruising on her hoof and there were concerns that she would miss the Group 1 Melbourne Cup, but the Authorized mare was passed fit to run in ‘the race that stops a nation’ after being inspected by Racing Victoria Chief Veterinarian Brian Stewart.
The Group 1 winner has not had a race start since she finished fourth behind Thistle Bird in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes (2011m) at Curragh on June 29, but Varian told Racing Ahead that My Ambivalent generally performs well fresh and he is confident that she can perform well when she takes her place in the 2014 Melbourne Cup field on Tuesday.
“It was disappointing that we missed out on the Caulfield Cup, that was our first target, but racing is a funny game and sometimes things happen for a reason,” Varian said.
“She has run well before off a break, she has run very well fresh before and she is obviously going into the Melbourne Cup fresh.
“I was thrilled with her condition this morning and I thought that she looked great.
“She is very capable of putting in a huge performance.”
Jockey Andrea Atzeni has ridden My Ambivalent in the majority of her races starts and the leading England-based hoop has made the trip to Australia to partner the five-year-old in the Melbourne Cup, while he will also ride stablemate Farraaj in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) tomorrow.
Atzeni steered My Ambivalent to victory in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes (2092m) as well as placings in the Group 1 Sheema Classic (2410m) and Group 1 Coronation Cup earlier this year and Varian believes that the Italian hoop brings out the best of the enigmatic mare.
“It was nice that Andrea got a chance to sit on her and she responded well to him,” Varian said.
“He has a very special relationship with that mare.”
My Ambivalent will be stepping up to 3200 metres for the first time in her racing career in the Melbourne Cup and she has not raced over a distance greater than 2423 metres since she finished fifth in the 2012 edition of the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2937m) at Doncaster.
Admire Rakti remains a clear favourite at in 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets, while My Ambivalent is available at a quote of $41 to become the first English-trained winner of the race.