While Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison lament the fact that the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) is not run in January, the trainers have opted to run Averau in the Doriemus Handicap (2000) at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday to keep the mare fresh.
Averau earned her shot at the $400,000 Adelaide Cup at Morphettville after her dominant three and a half length victory in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) on January 1 but with two months between then and the Adelaide Cup on March 9, the mare needs one or two races to freshen up.
“It’s probably a shame the Adelaide Cup wasn’t two or three weeks after the Bagot because she came through that race terrific,” Widdison told AAP.
“We thought we would run her over 2000 metres just so it wasn’t too long between runs and the plan is to go three weeks into a 2500-metre Listed race at Moonee Valley and then two and a bit weeks into the Adelaide Cup.”
Averau is one of 11 stayers dropping in distance for the 2015 Doriemus Handicap, including Darren Weir’s Akzar, Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) winner Renew, and Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) minor placer Extra Zero.
The mare will once again have to overcome a wide start after drawing barrier 11 but after working her way over from the widest gate in the Bagot Handicap to win dominantly she should have no issue.
Averau has won four of her past six starts, including a Benchmark 66 over 2046 metres back in October but Widdison admits the race will likely be short of the mare’s best trip despite her good form.
“She won’t disgrace herself but you would think she would probably get left flat-footed at some stage and just keep grinding away like she does,” he said.
Akzar is the $2.70 firm favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au after winning the Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) in May and finishing runner-up to Jacquinot Bay over the mile last time out while Averau is on the fourth line of betting at $7.
Following the Doriemus Handicap, Averau will run in the Listed Torney Night Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse on February 20 before heading to the Adelaide Cup two and a half weeks later.