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Australian Cup firming for Suavito
23 Feb 2016

Trainer Nigel Blackiston has his sights firmly set on next month’s $1.5 million Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington for his star mare Suavito (Thorn Park x Queen Cha Cha).

The daughter of Thorn Park resumed from a lengthy layoff to beat a star-studded field in the C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and is currently an $8 chance to secure the third Group 1 success of her career in Saturday’s Futurity Stakes at the same course and distance.

She is rated the $9 fourth favourite in the Australian Cup with CrownBet, which has Preferment and Bow Creek the equal $6 favourites ahead of Mongolian Khan at $8.

Though he had been initially considering the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) as a possible third-up option for the mare, Blackiston said he believed the five-year-old was versatile enough to handle a sharp step-up in distance and deserved her chance in the Australian Cup.

“She’s very clean-winded and she’s definitely come back a bigger and stronger horse than she was previously,” Blackiston said.

“I’m looking forward to stepping her up over 2000m, she’s only raced at Flemington (over 2000m) once before and she won the (Group 2) Matriarch Stakes.

“She’ll have the two runs over 1400m to get her fitness up and that should have her fine to get the 2000m.”

Blackiston said Suavito has trained on nicely since her impressive first-up victory and he expects her to again prove hard to beat at Caulfield on Saturday.

“She worked nicely on the steeple grass here at Flemington with Luke Currie in the saddle over 1000m and quickened up nicely over the last 400m,” he said.

“The thing with this mare is she’s just so honest, she’s never put in a bad run for me and hopefully that can continue on Saturday.”