Cup Trip Key For Legarto

The Mr Brightside and Pride Of Jenni rivalry has dominated discussions ahead of Saturday’s $3 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), but Kiwi trainer Ken Kelso thinks the race has another crucial element.

His star mare Legarto, who will arrive in Melbourne on Wednesday, is the only horse of the 12 nominations in the Australian Cup to boast current 2000-metre form following her G1 Herbie Dyke Stakes victory, which was followed by a second placing on a leader’s track over the same trip at Ellerslie at her most recent start.

Importantly, Kelso rates last year’s Australian Guineas winner as being good enough to beat any of her potential rivals on Saturday.

“Yes, I think she is,” Kelso said. “I just hope she performs to what she did in the Australian Guineas and we’ll see where that takes us.

“I couldn’t take a line through her in that last race at Ellerslie. She’s better left-handed and better on a big, roomy track. Ellerslie is very on-pace since the new track went down.

“She’ll appreciate the big, roomy track and we’re back at Flemington.

“As long as she travels good, we’ll go in thinking she can go very well.

“She had some work Saturday and today was her final gallop and we are very happy. It’s all systems go. It’s going to be a good race.

“It will suit us with the pace on. Michael (Dee) knows the form and we haven’t discussed tactics with him yet, but we couldn’t be more pleased.”


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