Abduction was beaten as favourite in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday, but Godolphin racing manager Jason Walsh believes that the promising filly is primed to run another big race in the 2014 Crown Oaks.
Abduction took out the Listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 27 and finished a luckless fourth in the City Tatts Inglis Bonus Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 18, but looked to have every chance when she was caught by Thunder Lady in the final stages of the Wakeful Stakes.
Walsh told RSN this morning that the significant headwind that was present at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day may have cruelled the winning chances of Abduction, but he said that the stable was happy with the performance of the Street Cry filly and thrilled with the way that she has bounced back from the tough run heading into the Crown Oaks.
“She ran really well,” Walsh said.
“She presented a couple of furlongs from home to win the race and that strong headwind might have been the turning factor.
“She did a great job for us.
“There is not much of her and she is certainly bred to stay, but if she is quiet ready for it yet, there is a little bit of a question mark.
“She is very resilient, she has bounced back in great order and McEvoy jumped off her on Saturday and said that he pushed the button too soon, which we didn’t agree with.
“She was given every chance and just got collared on the line.
“She has done a great job and she is going to present as well today as she did on Saturday.
“She is primed to run at her best today.”
Abduction has shown a degree of tactical versatility during her racing career to date, but Walsh believes that jockey Kerrin McEvoy will have little choice other than to settle the three-year-old at the tail of the field in the early stages of the Crown Oaks after she was allocated barrier seven for the Group 1 event.
“There are a few other competitive chances that she is going to meet for the first time,” Walsh said.
“We will ride her a little bit more conservatively, which we will have to from a wildish draw, and we are confident that she will stay the trip.”
Abduction is currently available at 2014 Crown Oaks odds of $9, while Go Indy Go ($4.40) remains a narrow favourite from Lumosty ($5), Crafty ($6.50), Thunder Lady ($7) and Set Square ($7).