Chloe Azzopardi has been booked to ride Flirtini in the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m).
It’s a major vote of confidence for Azzopardi with trainer Simon Miller and owners Barry and Jan McRostie placing their faith in the 22-year-old.
It also reflects Azzopardi’s stellar form in the saddle and her productive association with Flirtini, winning two races and placing second in her three rides on the daughter of Artie Schiller.
Azzopardi has made a top return to racing after a weight battle took her away from the saddle in 2014. In April she booted home a career-high treble.
The Belmont Guineas looms as one of the races of the Belmont season with a quality batch of three-year-olds out to claim the Listed feature on June 22.
Miller sounded an ominous warning to his rivals in Saturday week’s Bolton Sprint (1200m). He says Valour Road is doing things behind the scenes that are ‘scary’ and believes the Frost Giant gelding has thrived since his Adelaide campaign.
Valour Road won the Group 2 Euclase (1200m) at Morphettville and was forced to miss Saturdays Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m) at Belmont after his return trip from South Australia was delayed for a couple of days.
A start in the Bolton Sprint for stable mate and outstanding Beaufine Stake’s victor Market Ruler won’t be made until later in the week.
FLOWER OF WAR
And Miler said he was delighted by the run of Flower Of War on the weekend. The War Chant filly suffered her first loss when she weakened to second behind True Attraction after leading. Miller said she did well punching the breeze and would progress to the Belmont Guineas.
Dan Morton is looking at extending Man Booker’s Queensland campaign. The Perth trainer says there are a couple of Group 3 races he is considering. Man Booker has been unplaced in his three starts in Brisbane: the Doomben 10,000, (1200m) the Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m) and the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
Misty Metal is line to mark her return in the Bolton Sprint after a bruised heel kept her out of the Beaufine Stakes where she was the pre-post favourite. Co-trainer Todd Harvey said if the Oratorio mare gets to the trials on Friday she would be an almost certain starter in the Bolton.
Fabergino is in the paddock spelling and won’t be seen for the Belmont season. The Maschino mare hasn’t raced since her third to Hoboken at Belmont on May 4. Trainer Tiarnna Robertson said Belmont and rain affected tracks were not to Fabergino’s liking and she would return for an Ascot campaign later in the year.
Rock Magic is also spelling after his third to Market Ruler in the Beaufine Stakes. Stable representative Michael Gangemi said a rain affected track and the big weight he had to carry made it a difficult task for the nine-year-old.
The son of Redoute’s Choice was a sizzling winner of the Northam Stakes (1100m) in May and ran fifth in the Roma Cup (1200m). Gangemi said Rock Magic would target the Winterbottom as a ten-year-old.
Stable mate Durendal is also in the paddock after pulling up lame in the Beaufine Stakes, a race he won last year.
Better news for the Gangemi’s with the richly talented Samizdat to either trial on Friday or return to racing action at Belmont on Saturday. The gelding won the Magic Millions 3YO Trophy (1200m) last February and ran third the following start, suffering the first loss of his career. A post-race examination revealed he had suffered a virus.
And Lockroy will target the Bolton Sprint on his return. The seven-year-old last raced in February when unplaced in the Pinjarra Classic. He ran some nice races last preparation when second in the Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m) and third in the Crawford Stakes (1000m).
Roy Rogers is planning on taking speedster Captain Stirling to Melbourne in the spring. The four-year-old gave a bold display in front before tiring late to fourth behind Market Ruler in the Beaufine Stakes. Rogers said a couple of races down the Flemington straight and a 955m race at Moonee Valley look to be potential targets.
Randy Tan has hurt his shoulder after he was almost dislodged on Duck Duck Goose at Belmont on Saturday. Tan, who was forced to forgo his rides at Kalgoorlie on Sunday, will be out for a week.