Trainer Ciaron Maher has no concerns about his mare Azkadellia drawing the outside barrier in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Azkadellia came up with barrier ten out of ten in the Brisbane Winter Carnival feature weight for age sprint but Maher said the mare’s pattern of racing is to get back anyway and the wide gate shouldn’t affect her chances.
“The barrier won’t make that much difference as she gets back anyway,” Maher told Racing Queensland.
Azkadellia will be having her first run since winning the Group 1 $1m The Coolmore Legacy Stakes (Queen Of The Turf Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ on April 9 but looked sharp in a winning a 1000m barrier trial on the newly reconstructed Eagle Farm course proper last Thursday.
And Maher topped off the mare’s Doomben 10000 preparation with a stroll around Doomben on the course proper on Tuesday morning.
“I was very happy with her trial the other day and she seems to be on track,” Maher said.
Maher admits that the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11 is Azkadellia’s main Brisbane Winter Carnival mission and expects the run in the Doomben 10000 to top her off nicely for her assignment two weeks later.
“The Stradbroke has always been her aim as she’ll be better suited over 1400 metres on a bigger track like Eagle Farm but the 10,000 is a nice race for her to kick off,” Maher said.
Melbourne jockey Mark Zahra has been booked to ride Azkadellia in thhe Doomben 10000 and he will be the fourth jockey to ride the mare in as many starts with Brett Prebble on board when second to Peeping in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 12, Glen Boss rode her when third to Winx in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on April 2 and Damien Oliver steered her to victory in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Azkadellia heads the market order for the Doomben 10000 at $2.80 at Ladbrokes.com.au with the Chris Waller trained Delectation and Canberra sprinter Fell Swoop sharing the second line of betting at $5.50.
Doomben 10000 market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.80 Azkadellia, $5.50 Delectation, Fell Swoop, $6.50 Music Magnate, $7 Dothraki, $15 Charlie Boy, $21 Scarlet Billows, $26 Two Blue, Hooked, $31 Divine Centuri.