Matamata trainers Ken and Bev Kelso are making a return trip across the Tasman with Group 1 winning mare Xanadu and will head to Melbourne for the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Xanadu’s win in the Group 1 NZ$150,000 NZ T’bred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha on April 6 tempted the Kelsos to test the waters during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
But with only one run in Sydney, Xanadu returned to New Zealand after running fifth to Skyerush in the Group 2 $175,000 M. J. Bale Emancipation Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
The Elusive City mare is set to kick off her Spring campaign in the Group 3 NZ$70,000 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Waikato on August 17.
“I am pleased with the way she has come up and we will follow the same path that we did last year, before ending up in Melbourne,” Ken Kelso told TVN.
“She will go straight into the Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa without a trial, but she may have a gallop in between races somewhere before then, but she is pretty right.”
“She is nominated for the Makfi Stakes and Windsor Park Plate at Hawke’s Bay and following those two races all going to plan it’s onwards to Australia.”
Kelso will then pack up and head to Melbourne and use the Group 2 $220,000 Yellowglen Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 19 as the mare’s final lead up to the Myer Classic.
“There is a nice fillies’ and mares race over 1400 metres at Caulfield that will lead nicely into the Myer,” Kelso said.
Xanadu has been a consistent Group 1 performer over the last two seasons with three seconds and two thirds as well as a win at the top level.
During her Summer/Autumn campaign, she was second to Final Touch in the Group 1 NZ$300,000 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham on January 19 then second again to Diademe in the Group 1 NZ$200,000 Waikato Draught Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on February 9.