Promising stayer La Amistad has been included in the field for the 2014 Hill Stakes that will be run at Royal Randwick on Saturday, despite failing to fire in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens last weekend.
La Amistad (barrier one) was well-backed in the lead-up to the Kingston Town Stakes and she tracked the leaders nicely, but she failed to respond when asked for an extra effort by jockey James McDonald and weakened late to finish a disappointing seventh.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes told Sky Racing HQ yesterday that La Amistad had taken no harm out of the run and is hoping that the three-quarters sister to Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva can return to her best form when ridden quieter at her next start.
“She was fine,” Hawkes said.
“She was probably ridden a bit too close, that is not really her style or pattern of racing.
“Obviously from the barrier James thought that it might be a good idea, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
“Whether she starts Saturday we will just see how she is, but I can assure everyone that she is nice and bright and she has pulled up well.”
The 2014 Hill Stakes field is packed full of talent and La Amistad will have to perform at her very best to record her maiden win at Group level this weekend.
Australian Derby winner Criterion (barrier five) beat home just a single runner in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 6, but was found with a back issue after the race that may have explained his poor performance.
The David Payne stable revealed last week that Criterion had taken plenty of benefit out of chiropractic treatment he has received in the past week and will continue to build towards the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
Entirely Platinum (barrier three( also failed to fire in the Chelmsford Stakes, but has been included in the Hill Stakes field, while the Chris Waller-trained trio of Moriarty (barrier seven), Bagman (barrier six) and Junoob (barrier four) will also back-up in the Group 2 event after performing well in the Chelmsford Stakes.
The only horse taking winning form into the Hill Stakes is Waller-trained Multilateral (barrier eight), who has also been included in the nominations for the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on Thursday.
Multilateral scored a narrow win over Canny Ballad in the Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2100m) on September 5 and is set for his maiden start at Group level in the Hill Stakes.
The 2014 Hill Stakes field is rounded out by David Payne-trained Honorius (barrier two).