A steady rise through the grades has Queensland mare Risk Aversion primed to take on a classy field in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Trainer Michael Lakey has taken a patient approach with the five-year-old and it appears to be paying off.
The Encosta De Lago mare has won five times and placed on four other occasions from 13 starts.
On Sydney debut earlier this month in the Group 3 Millie Fox Stakes, Risk Aversion produced a fighting finish in tough conditions to take runner-up honours by the narrowest of margins behind four-time Group winner Red Tracer.
That run confirmed to Lakey she was ready to tackle Saturday’s $600,000 feature which contains a number of Group 1 winners.
“We were over the moon with her Millie Fox run,” Lakey told horseracing.com.au.
“Coming in on a heavy track with no trial in a field like that we weren’t quite sure but it was a great effort.”
Despite Lakey’s patient approach, he admits the Coolmore has always been in the sights of the progressive galloper.
“I was taking small steps with her but the owners have always had this race in mind,” Lakey said.
“She’s risen through the grades nicely and with her breeding it’s not really a surprise.”
Risk Aversion has the advantage of carrying the minimum of 52kg this weekend but Lakey admits she will need a touch of luck from a tricky barrier 13 position.
“I think a barrier would’ve really helped although she does get back anyway,” he said.
“But if she can get a bit of cover with only 52kg we’re hopeful she might be able to run a place.”
Following the Coolmore Risk Aversion will be freshened up for a tilt at her home carnival in the Brisbane winter where targets will include the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m).
“If she ran really well this weekend we might consider the Stradbroke [Handicap] but we’ve generally kept her against the mares,” Lakey said.