Trainer Cindy Alderson admits she doesn’t know what to expect when Manageress makes her return to racing at Flemington.
The mare will be having her first run since November when she lines up in the Group Three Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) on Saturday.
Beaten by Group One winner Lucia Valentina in the Matriarch Stakes on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival last year, Manageress then underwent surgery on a leg.
“She chipped her off-fetlock joint, probably in that last race,” Alderson said.
The mare was spelled and returned to Alderson a little over three months ago to prepare for the spring.
Alderson said Manageress had had a steady build-up but was far from being at her top.
“She’s obviously not screwed right down for this race, most of them aren’t except for the specialist sprinters, but she’s been pleasing us,” Alderson said.
“It’s been difficult to assess at this point just how she’s going because the tracks have been pretty wet.”
Manageress had a jump-out in an unofficial trial at Cranbourne on Monday on heavy ground.
Alderson said the mare was keen in the work-out but she would have a better idea of how she was going after Saturday’s race.
“She’s never really shown any potential over that sort of distance before, but then last spring she was a bit of a revelation at 1400 metres,” Alderson said.
Alderson has Manageress entered for the Caulfield Cup but says her best form is at Flemington and a more realistic target is the Matriarch Stakes.
Stablemate Az Given will be chasing successive wins when she runs in the VRC Member Paul Tamburro Handicap (2100m) after leading all the way at Moonee Valley last month.
“She took advantage of a leaders’ track that afternoon and ran them into the ground,” Alderson said.
“She’s a tough, very genuine little mare and I’ve always said she’s not blessed with hugh ability but she gives you 110 per cent every time she steps out.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au