Dual Group 1 winner Suavito is on trial for a trip to Hong Kong when she steps out in the Group 1 $1m The Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The weight for age feature for the fillies and mares was formerly known as the Queen Of The Turf Stakes and is one of four Group 1s to be contested on day two of ‘The Championships’.
The other Group 1 races on the ten event program are the $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) for the three year old fillies, the $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) for the stayers and the $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) for the top weight for age performers.
Suavito is among the invitations the Hong Kong Jockey Club has issued for the Group 1 HK$14m Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on May 1 and trainer Nigel Blackiston will confirm a trip away after the mare runs on Saturday.
“Let’s get Saturday out of the way first,” Blackiston said.
Suavito is coming off a last start ninth of ten to Preferment, beaten less than three lengths, in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 12 and Blackiston said that he might have stepped her up to the 2000m distance too quickly.
“Possibly I was a little bit adventurous stepping her up to 2000 metres after a year off and only having two 1400-metre races (leading in),” Blackiston said.
Suavito kicked off her Autumn Carnival campaign by winning her second Group 1 with a victory in the $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13.
The Thorn Park mare then ran third in the race she won last year, the Group 1 $400,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield a fortnight later.
The prospect of a rain affected track for the Queen Of The Turf Stakes has Blackiston slightly concerned and he is hoping the ground is not as wet as last year when Suavito ran seventh to Kermadec on a rain soaked Randwick in the Group 1 $3m The Star 150th Doncaster Mile (1600m).
“She can handle dead-to-slow going,” Blackiston said.
“She ran seventh, beaten under five lengths in the Doncaster last year on the wettest track I’ve seen. So if you can get some footing and it’s not too bottomless or too sticky, then she should handle it OK.”
The Randwick track was rated a Soft 6 on Friday morning but with showers sweeping across Sydney today, the prospect of it drying out any further looks unlikely.
Luke Currie has been the regular rider for Suavito during the Autumn and gets the ride again and will have to be at his best after the mare drew awkwardly at gate fifteen in the original barrier draw.
Suavtio is rated a $10 chance at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Ciaron Maher trained Azkadellia as the $3.70 favourite for the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Queen Of The Turf Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.70 Azkadellia, $6.50 Zanbagh, $9 Risque, $9.50 Badawiya, $10 Suavito, $14 Lady Le Fay, Noble Protector, $15 Miss Rose De Lago, $16 Artistry, $19 Pasadena Girl, $21 Heavens Above, Supara, $26 Asinara, $41 Vergara, Slightly Sweet, $81 Casino Dancer, $101 Coronation Shallan.