Group 1 winning mare Azkadellia will take her place in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Trainer Ciaron Maher had been reluctant to commit Azkadellia to a start in the feature Winter Carnival weight for age race but confirmed this morning that the Shinko King mare will be among the field for the Doomben 100000.
Maher’s main Brisbane Winter Carnival goal for Azkadellia is the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11 and the Doomben 10000 will be a perfect lead up race for her.
“The way she is doing it will be pretty nice timing to have her right for the Stradbroke,” Maher told Melbourne radio station RSN.
“I think a run two weeks out will only bring her on.”
Azkadellia heads the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Doomben 10000 at $2.80 and also is on top of the betting for the Stradbroke Handicap at $4.40.
Azkadellia has had a freshened up following a Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign that saw her claim her first Group 1 win in the $1m The Coolmore Legacy Stakes (Queen Of The Turf Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ on April 9.
At her other two Autumn Carnival starts, Azkadellia finished second to Peeping in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 12 followed by a third to Winx in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 2.
Maher has been happy with the progress of the mare since her arrival in Queensland and she looked good in winning a 1000m barrier trial on the newly revamped Eagle Farm track last Thursday with top Brisbane jockey Michael Cahill in the saddle.
“She seems on track,” Maher said.
“She quickened-up in his hands and he was easy on her over the concluding stages.
“She seems nice and fresh. She’s coming back from the mile but I think this will be her track. This is the race (Stradbroke) that we’re targeting.
“She’s got a lot of residual fitness. She ran in the spring and it’s only a shortish turnaround into the autumn and now she’s up here for the winter.”
Mark Zahra has been booked to ride Azkadellia in the Doomben 10000 replacing the suspended Damien Oliver who was aboard for her last start win in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Melbourne rider Nick Hall was then then booked to ride the mare but was also suspended for careless riding, leaving the way for Zahra to step in.
Zahra will be the fourth jockey to ride Azkadellia in as many starts with Brett Prebble on board when second to Peeping in the Coolmore Classic, Glen Boss rode her when third to Winx in the Doncaster Mile and then Oliver steered her to victory in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Early market order for the Doomben 10000 at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.80 Azkadellia, $4.60 Delectation, $5.50 Dothraki, $6 Music Magnate, $6.50 Fell Swoop, $11 Rageese, $15 Stratum Star, $17 Scarlet Billows, $19 Charlie Boy, $21 Two Blue, $26 Hooked, $41 Tivaci, $61 Divine Centuri.