Queen Of The Turf Stakes favourite Azkadellia will have no trouble backing up on the second day of ‘The Championships’ at Randwick Saturday.
The consistent Victorian mare heads the market order at $3.50 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Group 1 $1m The Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m), formerly known as The Queen Of The Turf Stakes and will be backing up in the week after running a mighty race for Glen Boss with 50kg when third behind Winx and Happy Clapper in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on day one of ‘The Championships’ last Saturday.
Back to the weight for age conditions in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, the Ciaron Maher trained Azkadellia will carry 57kg, giving champion Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver a chance to hop back in the saddle.
Oliver knows the mare very well and after running second in the Group 3 $150,000 mypunter.com Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 13 came out two weeks later to win the Group 3 $150,000 Premier Signs Mannerism Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Oliver has no concerns about the four year old mare backing up week to week and the prospect of a wet track will also suit her.
“She was very brave and she’s backed up well in the past,” Oliver told racing.com.
“She handles wet ground too, so she’s in with a great chance.”
The Randwick track was upgraded to a soft 7 on Wednesday afternoon, but with more showers forecast for Sydney in the lead up to the weekend will give the track little chance to dry out much further.
“They hadn’t had rain three or four days leading up to last Saturday and it still raced slow, so if they get rain close to the day, expect it to be in the heavy range,” Oliver said.
“It’s not ideal, but fortunately a lot of my horses have got wet track form so I’m hoping it’s a positive for me.”
Last start Group 2 Emancipation Stakes winner Zanbagh is the second pick in the betting at $6 ahead of the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Risque at $9.
Queen Of The Turf Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Azkadellia, $6 Zanbagh, $9 Risque, $10 Badawiya, $12 Suavito, $13 Lady Le Fay, $15 Noble Protector, Artistry, $16 Miss Rose De Lago, $17 Pasadena Girl, $19 Politeness, $21 Heavens Above, Supara, $26 Asinara, $41 Vergara, Slightly Sweet, $81 Casino Dancer, $101 Coronation Shallan.