Dual Kiwi Group 1 winner Costume is looking to enhance her stud value by scoring an upset win in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Costume is currently in foal to Pins and co-trainer Graeme Rogerson is not ruling out an upset win in the glamour weight for age race on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Rogerson was in the winner’s circle after the 2001 Mackinnon Stakes after $31 shot La Bella Dama led all of the way and said that Costume is in with a chance of causing a similar result.
“Her pattern is to get back and she should be running along at the end,” Rogerson told AAP.
“She is not very big but she is a genuine weight-for-age horse and they’ll know she’s there.”
Costume will have one more run after the Mackinnon and head back to New Zealand for the Group 1 NZ$200,000 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on December 26 before heading off to Waikato Stud to prepare to be a mother for the first time.
“She has tested positive to Pins at the 30-day stage and after the Mackinnon she will return to New Zealand and run in the Zabeel Classic before she goes to Waikato Stud to be a mother,” said Rogerson who trains in partnership with his wife Debbie at Tuhikaramea in New Zealand.
“She has a lovely nature and will make a wonderful broodmare.”
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Blake Shinn will be on the $51 outsider and will have no trouble settling the Savabeel mare close to the fence in the second half of the field from barrier two.
Costume arrives in Melbourne as a last start Group 1 winner after taking out the NZ$250,000 WFA Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings, NZ, on October 4.
Her other Group 1 victory was in the WFA NZ$200,000 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa in New Zealand on February 8.
The top of the market order for the Mackinnon Stakes is very congested with Caulfield Cup runner up Rising Romance the $5 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of the Chris Waller trained He’s Your Man and Australian Derby winner Criterion who are both marked at $5.50.
Happy Trails is next in the betting at $7 ahead of the consistent Foreteller and English import Amralah at $10 with Melbourne Cup hopeful Brambles at $13.