AJC Oaks winner Absolutely is not a certain starter at Doomben on Saturday after trainer Mick Kent had second thoughts on her Winter Carnival program.
Absoultely hasn’t been in the winner’s stall since winning the 2011 Group 1 $550,000 Patinack Farm 100th AJC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on a heavy track and Kent brought her to Brisbane looking for wet tracks again.
But with clear skies forecast for the next week, Kent is in a quandary when to kick off the four year old mare’s Winter Carnival campaign.
Kent nominated Absolutely for the Group 3 $115,000 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) on Saturday as a lead up to the Group 2 $300,000 Australian Special Metals Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 but will now confer with his owners to finalise a Winter path.
“We thought we’d follow the rain so we sent her up there after the Doncaster,” Kent said.
“I’m undecided if she’ll run in the Chairman’s and haven’t locked in the race yet.”
“We hoped to go to the Doomben Cup with her but it looks like being a strong race this year.”
Kent said that Absolutely had settled in nicely and her work has been good but he is just hoping that the weather turns around.
“She’s galloped well this week but she likes the give in the ground,” Kent said.
“She competed well in the Caulfield Cup last year when she was only beaten about six lengths.”
Kent brought Absolutely to Brisbane after running ninth to More Joyous in the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 21 on a track that started out in the heavy range before drying out to a dead 5 at start time.
“She ran a terrific race in the Doncaster which wasn’t her best distance,” he said.
“She drew wide and we hoped she’d be able to get over but she was always deep.”
“It was going to be a heavy track that day but it dried out remarkably.”
Kent is looking forward to Absolutely performing well in the Group 1 $500,000 Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 19 and the Brisbane Cup to give him confidence for another attempt at the major Cups in the Spring.
Melbourne jockey Brad Rawiller, who rode the Redoute’s Choice mare in her only win in the AJC Oaks will be aboard her if she starts in the Chairman’s on Saturday.