Audino is set to make his debut at Group level in the 2015 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley tomorrow and trainer Robbie Laing admits that that six-year-old will be outclassed in the $200,000 event.
Audino worked his way through the grades with back-to-back wins in the Doolan’s Heavy Haulage Handicap (1500m) at Sandown on December 6 and the Dorevitch Pathology Handicap (1600m) at Flemington on December 13 and he was not disgraced when he was given a maiden opportunity at Listed level in the Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on January 10.
Laing told Racing Ahead that he was happy with the effort of Audino in the Kensington Stakes, but he is clearly realistic about the chances of the son of Danerich in the Australia Stakes and is happy that he is guaranteed to pick up some prizemoney no matter where the gelding finishes in the Group 2 event.
“He drew one and as is well documented these days the inside of Flemington is no good, so barrier one is a disadvantage,” Laing said.
“He went back to the tail and he followed The Quarterback and Danger Close up the outside of the track and he was giving away too big of a start only to be beaten by 2.8 lengths.
“It was a super run.
“We have no great expectations tomorrow, but it is $4000 down to eighth and there is eight runners, so it is a good payday.
“He is going to that race tomorrow and he is outclassed, but it is just a stepping-stone to hopefully something in a week or two.”
Laing said that he is keen to step Audino back-up in trip after he contests the 2015 Australia Stakes this weekend, but he revealed that he is now struggling to find a suitable race for the sprinter after his benchmark rating was increased substantially following his back-to-back wins.
“One thing that we need to look at is putting on some good old fashioned mile welters,” Laing said.
“The benchmark races are great, but when you get a horse like him that hit a purple patch his benchmark is so high now that it is impossible for him to win a nice mile race on a Saturday with 62 kilos.”
Audino is currently available at 2015 Australia Stakes odds of $61, while Dissident ($1.80) remains a dominant favourite from Tudor ($5.50), Hard Stride ($6) and It Is Written ($8) with Ladbrokes Australia.