Consistent mare Averau showed she was on target for the Adelaide Cup with a strong win at Flemington on Saturday.
The Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison trained mare was dropping back from the 2800m of the Bagot Handicap on New Year’s Day to score in the Doriemus Handicap over 2000m.
Ridden by Linda Meech, Averau ($5) scored a half-length win from Extra Zero ($7) with Tooleybuc Kid (6) 1-1/4 lengths away third.
Morgan said Averau would now head to the Torney Night Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on February 20 before heading to Morphettville for the Adelaide Cup (3200m) on March 9.
And Morgan is hoping to emulate his father who won the Adelaide Cup with Dealer’s Choice in 1982.
Morgan said coming back to 2000m was a necessity for Averau as she needed to have a couple of runs under the belt before the Adelaide Cup.
He had contemplated taking the mare to Tasmania for the Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 9 but said she was a bad traveller.
“She travels in the float with a mate alright but I just wouldn’t put her on the boat, so we’d have to fly her and I’m just a bit worried about doing that,” Morgan said.
Morgan held concerns about the mare dropping from 2800m to 2000m but knew she had freshened up well.
He said the mare spent her days in the paddock after working or being put on the water walker but also said the mare relished having her races spaced with a little rest between runs.
Morgan didn’t tie Meech down with any instructions and said if she wanted to lead then she could, but Scelto took up the running before Averau took over soon after turning for home.
“I went out with the intention of being positive,” Meech said.
“If they were going to go slow I was going to go out there and lead but I was happy to have a little bunny to chase.”
Fellow Adelaide Cup aspirant Akzar, a drifter from $2.80 to $4 favourite, finished fifth after finding the 60.5 kg and the slow pace against.
“It’s frustrating, but I was really happy with the horse going forward,” jockey Brad Rawiller said.
“With 60.5 they walked and sprinted home and it was too much to ask.”