Co-trainer Michael Hawkes has confirmed that La Amistad will be given another opportunity to perform at the highest level of racing during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and she is set to be included in the nominations for both the Melbourne Cup and the Caulfield Cup.
La Amistad, the three-quarters sister to triple Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva, stamped herself as a leading contender for the 2014 Melbourne Cup when she recorded a dominant victory in the Listed McKell Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick in May last year, but she was unable to replicate that form during her spring campaign and she missed out on a place in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) after she finished third behind Signoff in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day last year.
The Redoute’s Choice mare started her autumn preparation with flat efforts in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 27 and the Racing Victoria Off The Track Plate (2000m) at Caulfield on April 18 before he failed to fire in the Listed Japan Trophy (2500m) at Morphettville on May 16.
Team Hawkes elected to step La Amistad up to 3200 metres for the first time in her racing career in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) at Flemington on May 23 and she produced an outstanding staying performance to defeat Group 1 winners Sonntag and Zabeelionaire.
Hawkes confirmed that La Amistad was back in work following a stint in the spelling paddock and he told Racing Ahead that the rising six-year-old would be given another chance to qualify for the 2015 Melbourne Cup.
“She is ticking over nicely,” Hawkes said.
“Obviously it was d-day and she was probably a little bit below par there in Adelaide, but then she came out and just blew them away.
“I know that Wayne has said all along that she is no Makybe, which she is not, but she probably got that little bit of form back when she won up here in Sydney so good.
“She is just an out and out stayer and we will have another crack at the spring.
“Whether she is good enough is yet to be determined and obviously with a lot of these overseas horses coming now it does make the competition hard, but she has come back, looks good and we are happy with her.”
La Amistad is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $51 with Ladbrokes Australia, while she is priced at $67 to take out the Caulfield Cup.