Trainer Brad Widdup has decided against starting Akari against benchmark fillies Funstar and Probabeel in the Phar Lap Stakes, instead favouring a Group Three assignment at Kembla Grange.
“I think it’s just a safer option. I’ve got James McDonald on Friday and I’m happy with that from the draw (three). I think she gets her chance,” Widdup said.
Akari has finished midfield at two runs from a spell in the Light Fingers Stakes won by Flit and the Surround Stakes won narrowly by Probabeel.
Widdup was particularly pleased with her latest performance when she was checked at a vital stage before picking herself back up and closing strongly late.
That effort has given him confidence to test her over a mile at Kembla and if she runs to expectations, she is likely to face a rematch with Funstar and Probabeel in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill later this month.
The Chris Waller-trained Funstar was on Wednesday a $2 favourite to turn the tables on the New Zealand filly in the Phar Lap Stakes.
A long head separated the two in the Surround when Probabeel unleashed a withering finish from back in the field to arrive in the final bound.
However, the Jamie Richards-trained filly had a fitness edge following two lead up wins in New Zealand while Funstar was racing for the first time since the spring.
Probabeel remains solid at $2.60 and the pair have a stranglehold on Phar Lap Stakes betting with Spend the next market pick at $10.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au