Trainer Ciaron Maher has been pleased with the benefit Azkadellia has taken from her time away from racing, but believes the mare will take plenty of benefit from her first-up run in Saturday’s 2016 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Azkadellia returned to racing in spring for a strong win in a Ballarat minor over 1000m; progressing to second in the Dad & Dave’s Turf BM78 (1200m) before returning to winning form in the Condo’s Horse Transport BM78 (1400m).
Making a successful transition to black type company when second behind Coronation Shallan in the Group 3 G1X.com.au Stakes (1600m), the Shinko King mare has not been seen at the races since charging home to finish a pleasing third in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) on October 31st.
Maher is confident the mare will perform well in the 2016 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes but believes regardless of the result, she will take plenty of benefit from the hit-out.
“I think she will take a lot of improvement out of it,” Maher told Racing Ahead.
“If that was her main aim I would say no, but she is obviously a quality horse and I am training her with an aim to peak in Sydney a bit later on.
“She has had a couple of soft trials and she will be pretty sharp at the 1200.
“I’d say she will be ridden in her usual pattern, probably get back and have a last crack at them.
“Hopefully she is good enough and I know that she will benefit from the run.”
Maher has included Azkadellia in nominations for each of the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) during The Championships but will allow the mare’s form to dictate the path taken.
“It is a couple of weeks to a 1400 still down here and then we slip up for the Coolmore and the Doncaster,” Maher said.
“She would have to perform really well, but we will keep our options open and there is the Queen Of The Turf as well.
“There are a number of races for her up there or we might even freshen up and head up for the winter for the Stradbroke.”
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering Azkadellia at 2016 Bellmaine Stakes odds of $2.50 for success.