Dubai: Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide, South Australia, hosts an attractive nine-race Autumn Carnival card on Saturday - featuring four Group races and headed by the twin Group 1s for the ladies: the Australasian Oaks and the Robert Sangster Stakes.
Dubai’s Godolphin stable are well represented in the latter of the two, a weight-for-age contest for fillies and mares who are two-year-old plus, run over a distance of 1,200 metres.
Boasting a prize fund of A$600,000, it is one of South Australia’s premier races as evidenced by a big field of 17 runners who will line up at the start.
Godolphin are represented by Lyre, a classy three-year-old trained by Anthony Freeedman and the James Cummings representative, Savatiano.
Lyre has not won a race since she landed the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes in 2019 but assistant trainer Sam Freedman is confident that a change of equipment will help here to set the record straight.
“She’ll have the blinkers on for the first time, which we’re hoping will help her focus and give her that little bit extra,” Freedman told the Godolphin website.
“She worked enormous in the blinkers this week, so we’re pretty happy going into a race which is strong at the top but probably tails off fairly quickly.”
Lyre will be ridden by Adelaide Cup winning rider Damian Thornton.
Savatiano, the mount of Jason Holder, has raced four times in her current preparation, winning first-up and then putting in a strong effort when second to The Bostonian in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes.
“Her run in the Canterbury Stakes was a personal best, but she’s had a few things go against her since then,” said Darren Beadman, assistant to trainer James Cummings.
Cummings also runs Asiago in the G1 Australasian Oaks on the same Morphettville card, along with Tenley (Jake Toeroek) in the Group 2 Euclase Stakes and the trio of Trekking (John Allen), Viridine (Jason Holder) and Home Of The Brave (Barend Vorster) in the Group 3 D C Mackay Stakes.
Asiago has revealed Group-level ability in a career that includes five wins, but is unproven at the 2,000m of the Oaks.
“She needs all the favours she can get if she’s going to run out the trip,” Beadman said.