Adkins Hopeful Andretti Can Motor Back To Best Form

Andrew Adkins describes the Sydney Jockey’s room as arguably the toughest in the world so that’s why a promising horse like De An Andretti is important to him.

Jockey Andrew Adkins (Pic: Steve Hart).

The sister to former star Libertini makes her long awaited return at Rosehill on Saturday in the Ned Australian Whisky Handicap (1300m), and is also an emergency for the 1100m Midway.

Though no stranger to Group 1 success, Adkins hopes De An Andretti can be the horse to help him make inroads having returned in mid-May from his latest injury setback.

“The jockey’s room at the moment is probably the hardest it’s ever been. It’s very competitive, very cut throat,’’ Adkins said.

“But it only takes someone like me to find a horse that’s on the improve, and looking to show they are going to be a talent, to hopefully take you to bigger and better places.”

The 24-year-old was apprenticed to De An Andretti’s trainer Ron Quinton, and won the apprentice title in 2016-17, so you could argue he had a head start when it comes to keeping the ride on such a filly.

His maiden Group 1 win on Daysee Doom in the 2018 Coolmore Classic was also for his boss but he knows in racing there are no guarantees.

“I’m in there doing the work for Ron and he’s one of the most loyal people I’ve had anything to do with,’’ he said.

“He’s always stuck by me and has been good enough to privilege me with the ride on some special fillies and mares when they’re going around and we need that.

“I’m so thankful to Ron for that because it gives you the opportunity to ride nice horses. When you’re trying to find your way up the ranks like I am it gives you great confidence that you can throw your leg over a naturally gifted horse like her.”

De An Andretti created a huge impression winning on debut at Hawkesbury in April last year, so much so she started $4.20 in the Group 2 Furious Stakes at her only start in the spring. Clearly something wasn’t right, however, as she could only beat two home.

As it turned out she’d contracted a virus and that brought a premature end to her campaign.

Quinton has been patient in bringing her back to race fitness and it seems her reputation remains intact as De An Andretti opened $3.90 favourite with TAB on Wednesday ($2.90 in the Midway) on the back of two impressive trial performances.

“She’s going really well at home, she seems to be back where she was prior to her win,’’ Adkins said.

“She’s impressing, she’s a happy horse. She’s obviously had a long time off so we’ve given her two strong trials.

“To trial the way she did on the polytrack is a good feeling and good to the eye to watch her trial like that.

“She’s a naturally big horse so she is only going to benefit every time she steps out.”

The big question mark around De An Andretti is how she would handle a wet track if that presents, as the forecast suggests, come Saturday. It’s well documented her sister Libertini wasn’t overly fond of them.

“She’s a clean actioned horse and you’d think she should get through it, I’d be leaning towards wanting a better track but she hasn’t shown any signs of not liking it,’’ he said.

“She shows great natural speed, we’ll try to ride her with a bit of cover and give her a chance to finish off like she did at Hawkesbury.”

– Racing NSW

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