Melbourne Cup hopeful La Amistad is set to take her place in the 2014 Rowley Mile field at Hawkesbury this afternoon, but she has been a significant drifter in betting markets for the Listed event.
La Amistad opened as a narrow favourite at Rowley Mile odds of $4.60, but she has been friendless in betting and has drifted out to $5.50; with Chris Waller-trained I’m Imposing and the consistent Mr Chard battling for favouritism.
La Amistad will be returning to the races for the first time since she recorded a dominant four lengths victory in the Listed W.J. McKell Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick on May 24 and co-trainer Michael Hawkes told Sky Racing HQ that Team Hawkes were uneasy about resuming the Redoute’s Choice mare on a heavy track.
Hawkes said that La Amistad will have a lengthy 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, which will be centered around attempting to qualify the half-sister to Makybe Diva for the 2014 Melbourne Cup, and do not want to set the five-year-old too tough an assignment in her first-up run.
“It all depended, we didn’t really want to run her on a heavy track and they put up a slow 7 and they said that if we don’t get any more rain it will stay in that sort of range, but if they get one or two mils it might turn to heavy,” Hawkes said.
“She has a long campaign to go and obviously first-up over a mile you do like to give them every chance and every possibility going forward.
“It is a starting point with her and we are taking it one step at a time as we are with a lot of our horses.”
La Amistad performed fairly in her two previous starts on a rain affected surface; finishing third behind Le Mans on a slow 7 at Ballarat on September 1 last year and the second in a maiden at Bendigo on September 18.
While La Amistad has been the big drifter in Rowley Mile betting, the cleat market mover in the betting market with Ladbrokes Australia is Gai Waterhouse-trained Travolta, who is into $9.50 after opening at $15.
Travolta has not recorded a race win on a rain affected surface, but he finished second behind Merlin Mustang in the Natski Handicap (1500m) on a heavy 9 at Royal Randwick in July last year.