Trainer Mick Kent is confident he has got Abbey Marie fit and healthy ahead of the spring.
Unbeaten at her first three starts in which she claimed the Group One Australasian Oaks in Adelaide last year, Abbey Marie was forced to miss last year’s spring carnival because of health issues.
She returned in the autumn to compete on four occasions, but a combination of a pulled muscle and wet tracks in Sydney conspired against her.
Following a placing in a Cranbourne trial on Tuesday, Abbey Marie is ready to open her spring assault in the Group Two P B Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 19.
Ridden by Luke Nolen, Abbey Marie split Grey Lion and Ventura Storm in the 1200m hit-out.
Kent said he was happy with her performance, saying the mare doesn’t do anything more than she has to.
The trainer explained Abbey Marie was laid low with an infection last spring after spending a month in hospital.
“She’s had bad liver enzymes ever since but this is the first time that I think she’s back to full health,” Kent said.
“Even last time in she didn’t have a lot of luck.
“She pulled a muscle in her first run and then had a chequered run on a very heavy track after she’d run well in the Mannerism before that.”
After the P B Lawrence, Kent plans to run Abbey Marie her in the Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley then make a decision on what path she takes.
“That’s the fork in the road,” Kent said.
“We’ either go the mares’ path or go up in distance.
“I’d like to get her up in distance this time as she’s badly needing a trip.”