Classy Kiwi mare Xanadu is a two-time Group 1 winner in New Zealand and trainer Ken Kelso believes the only thing that her racing CV is missing is a black type win in Australia.
Xanadu ran down Mufhasa to win the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) in New Zealand last month and heads into the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) as one of several winning chances in what is a very open race.
Kelso told Racing Ahead that a trip to Melbourne was always on the cards for Xanadu and he said the daughter of Elusive City has settled in Mornington nicely ahead of her second ever race start in Australia after she finished fifth in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick in the autumn.
“It was always the intention (to come to Australia),” Kelso said.
“Her form had to be up to it in New Zealand and if she performed well in New Zealand she was always going to travel over here.
“She won two Group 1s in New Zealand and her next step for her CV as a broodmare is some black type in Australia.
“She travelled over here last Sunday and settled in out at Mornington so I couldn’t be happier.”
Xanadu has performed consistently at the highest level of racing in New Zealand, winning the Breeders Stakes (1600m) in the autumn before her last start win in the Windsor Park Plate, and has form around New Zealand gallopers like King Mufhasa and Ocean Park who have had past success in Australia.
Kelso said that the five-year-olds form well and truly warranted a trip to Australia and he is confident that she will produce a typically honest effort this weekend.
“Her form has been very good,” Kelso said.
“She broke through and won a Group 1 earlier this year and before that she had about four Group 1 seconds.
“She is very honest and gives her best every time so her form certainly warranted coming over here.”
Kelso revealed that the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 2 would be the major 2013 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival goal for Xanadu but said that she is still forward enough to win the Tristarc Stakes.
“She is having a crack at the Myer as her main mission,” Kelso said.
“She is pretty ready; she had an exhibition gallop before she came over and it is a month between runs but she is pretty forward for this.
“There will be a little bit of improvement and she will probably be better over a mile in the Myer.”
The Tristarc Stakes has been won by a number of talented mares in the past five years; with Group 1 winners Typhoon Tracy (2009), More Joyous (2011) and Streama (2012) all victorious in the race.