One of the spring’s most anticipated but so far unfulfilled racing campaigns will reach a pivotal moment for La Amistad when she runs in the City Tattersall’s Club Cup at Randwick.
Starting her preparation as one of the favourites to win the Melbourne Cup, La Amistad has steadily fallen out of favour for Australia’s greatest race after three unplaced runs.
But the training partnership behind the close relation to Makybe Diva hasn’t given up on the mare resurrecting her fortunes in the countdown to the Melbourne Cup.
She will be given one more chance in a race on Saturday that Hawkes Racing used to help get Maluckyday a ticket into the biggest show in Australian racing.
“This race is where she is at,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said.
“She’ll either go to Melbourne or she will be in the paddock. It will be one or the other after Saturday.”
Maluckyday emerged from restricted class to win the Tatt’s Cup and Lexus Stakes before beating all but Americain in the 2010 Melbourne Cup and La Amistad will probably have to do the same.
“It’s a nice race for her and it’s a race we won with Maluckyday and we’re hoping to repeat that,” Hawkes said.
“She is as good as we’ve got her this time in and although she’s no Makybe, we’ve always said that (she wasn’t).”
In a solidly run Group One Metropolitan, La Amistad was trapped on a limb before finishing 11th to Junoob.
But she was much closer to Junoob when they met in the Hill Stakes at her previous start, giving the Hawkes camp reason to expect improvement in a race that represents a drop in class.
La Amistad was posted as favourite with last week’s Randwick winner Order Of The Sun at $4.60 when first Tatt’s Cup markets went up.
Her stablemate Deep Field will be the shortest-priced favourite on Saturday with bookmakers offering $1.30 about the sprinter keeping an unbeaten record in the Lightning Handicap.
Deep Field has won a provincial maiden and two midweek races, the latest in track-record time, to be rated a horse of the future.