Trainer Nigel Blackiston will stick with jockey Luke Currie to ride Suavito in the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 27 after he steered the mare to a win in the C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield last Saturday.
Currie’s win on Suavito in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) was the popular jockey’s second at Group 1 level and came a long time after his first on Roman Arch in the 2003 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield.
Suavito is now looking to record back to back wins in the Futurity Stakes after Damien Oliver drove her to victory in last year’s version to beat Smokin’ Joey and Dissident.
But Oliver opted to hop off the Thorn Park mare in the C.F. Orr Stakes to ride the Robert Hickmott trained Amralah, but the English import has been ruled out of the Autumn Carnival because of a leg injury.
“I didn’t realise it was only his second [Group 1],” Blackiston told Racing.com’s Racing Ahead on RSN.
“You could see how much it really meant to him.
“Being a battler is a harsh word, but I think he’s always been very, very capable, and that’s been overlooked sometimes.
“I’ve been using him now for six months.
“His style of riding, and his patience, and his horsemanship suits my horses.”
At first Blackiston was disappointed that Oliver knocked back the ride but was happy for Currie after he delivered in the C.F. Orr Stakes.
“I was disappointed Damien did get off, because I hate changes. But he had his reasons,” Blackiston added.
“I was lucky Luke was available, and had a chat with [co-owner] Ian [Lewis] about him riding the horse, and we both agreed he was suited.”
Suavito was able to beat a high quality field filled with Group 1 winners in the C.F. Orr Stakes, including the placegetters Lucky Hussler and Hucklebuck, and a similar field is likely to line up in the Futurity Stakes in a fortnight.
The five year old mare’s win on Saturday was her eighth from nineteen starts and took her prizemoney earnings to $1,252,550.