Azkadellia is set to contest the 2016 Mannerism Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday and trainer Ciaron Maher admits that the talented mare looks very well-placed in the Group 3 event.
Azkadellia finished her 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with fast-finishing performances in the Group 3 G1x.Com.Au Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) before she returned to the races with a more than credible second in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 13.
Maher admitted in the lead-up to the Bellmaine Stakes that Azkadellia was slightly underdone for the race, but he believes that she took plenty of benefit from the run and will have a number of factors in her favour in the 2016 Mannerism Stakes this weekend.
“What was a big factor in that race was that there was no pace on paper and if there was a little bit more pace it probably would have enabled her to get over the top of them,” Maher said.
“They only just ambled along and there were some quality horses in there like Tuscan Sling and together with her fitness I thought it was a bit of a task.
“She has had that run under her belt, her work was good on Tuesday and I think she will be better up to the 1400.
“She has taken a bit of improvement, she still has a bit more to go, but I am feeling a little bit more confident this week.
“Hopefully she can get there.”
Azkadellia has generally been ridden as a backmarker throughout her racing career and Maher expects the daughter of Shinko King to settle in the second half of the field in the Mannerism Stakes, but he said that he would leave it up to the judgement of Damien Oliver if the leading hoop believes that the pace is too slow in the early stages of the race.
“From the 12 you are probably going to be in the second half of the field,” Maher said.
“Hopefully she can slide in and she doesn’t have to be last.
“We will do a bit more homework on the race as we get a bit closer and it sort of depends on the speed up front.
“There looks like there is a little bit more than what there was a fortnight ago, but if it works out that way she can probably just relax where she is comfortable and if there is no pace then she will have to be a little bit closer.”
Azkadellia is currently available at 2016 Mannerism Stakes odds of $2.40 with Ladbrokes and she is a clear favourite from Tuscan Sling ($4.50), Choose ($7), Wawail ($8.50), Miss Rose De Lago ($12) and Fast Approaching ($16).