The Melbourne spring carnival is already foremost in trainer Tim Hughes’ mind with Crossing The Abbey.
The filly showed potential last autumn, winning at Flemington and being placed at Caulfield finishing last in the Blue Diamond Stakes in February.
Hughes is planning a spring campaign but Crossing The Abbey will make a cameo appearance at Flemington on Saturday in a Two-Year-Old Handicap over 1100 metres.
“I don’t think it’s ideal leaving her out for a big long period,” Hughes said.
“She’s such a gross doer when she’s out spelling because she packs the weight on really fast.
“She’s lives in a paddock 24/7 when she’s in full work as she’s a lot happier so I figured if I bring her in now, give her a little prep, then we can go to the paddock and come back for the spring.
“We won’t have to work her too hard to get the weight off to commit to those early spring races.”
Crossing The Abbey won a Cranbourne trial on May 21 under Dale Smith who has the ride on Saturday.
Hughes said the filly had come back a stronger version than the one that competed in the autumn.
“She’s a lot stronger across the back, a lot thicker and a lot more mature mentally,” Hughes said.
“She had a trial at Cranbourne a couple of weeks ago and she did that pretty easily and she worked nicely this morning on the course proper at Pakenham so we’ll go to Flemington and have a try.”
Hughes will be guided by how Crossing The Abbey performs on Saturday as to how many runs she will have before another break.
He said there was a chance the filly could take on older sprinters in the Group Three Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on July 14.
“More than likely she’ll just have this run but I’ll talk to the connections and they’ll make the decision,” Hughes said.
“Hopefully she’ll come back in the spring for some nice 1000-metre or 1200-metre three-year-old fillies races.”
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