Gosford trainer Kylie Gavenlock is optimistic Audette – named after a celebrated Australian abstract artist – can have her own brush with fame by winning the $500,000 Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championships Final at Randwick on Saturday.
“She doesn’t know how to run a bad race and I’m sure she won’t on Saturday,” Gavenlock said.
“She’s got a great record and she’s earned the right to be there.”
Audette, a four-year-old mare with six wins and two placings from nine starts, made it through to the decider with a second to Kayobi in a qualifier over 1200 metres at Gosford on March 16.
That was her first-up run this campaign and Gavenlock was keen to give her another run to fit her for the final. Audette responded by winning a Benchmark 78 race over 1300 metres at Warwick Farm on March 29 after sitting wide throughout.
Audette has only ever raced on soft or heavy tracks and she clearly loves the wet.
The Randwick track was rated a Heavy 9 on Thursday and Audette’s heavy-track form reads two starts for two wins, both on 8s.
“If they get another couple of showers it won’t worry me,” Gavenlock said.
“I know we’ll get through it. It slows a few of the others down though.”
And Audette’s qualifying form reads very well because the winner of her heat, the Sam Kavanagh-trained Kayobi, is the favourite for the final at $3.60 with TAB Fixed Odds.
The Kris Lees-trained Loch Eagle, which finished sixth in that heat, subsequently qualified for the final by winning the Wild Card race at Newcastle and is the $6 third favourite. Audette is at $12.
The challenges for Audette revolve around the fact the conditions of the race make her topweight, with 57kg, and she is yet to prove herself at the race distance of 1400 metres.
The only time she has raced over further than 1300 metres was in the fourth and last race of her first preparation, over 1450m at Muswellbrook in April of last year, when she battled on for third.
“We were trying to get answers to a couple of questions about her for next time in when she ran at Muswellbrook, but in hindsight she’d had enough that prep,” Gavenlock said.
“It was her first preparation, so maybe my fault rather than hers that day.
“But regarding the 1400m, the signs since are good. She was just off the speed in the qualifier and they went very fast, so that sets it up for something to come from behind you, which is what happened.
“And then she was tough when she won at Warwick Farm. She was caught wide all the way and still found the line strong over 1300m, so I think we’ll be right over the 1400m.
“It would probably worry me if we were going into the final second-up, but we’re not. That’s why I put her in at Warwick Farm, so we could go third-up into the final.”
Andrew Adkins will ride Audette on Saturday after being aboard for her first two runs in this preparation.
Audette is by The Factor and out of The Artist and her main owner is well-known racing identity Kim Harding.
“Kim has a lot of horses with me, she’s an amazing lady who does a lot for racing,” Gavenlock said.
“She’s the main owner of Audette. She bred the horse and what she does is allow her friends to come in with her on the ownership of her horses. Kim named the horse. She’s into art and she’s passionate about Australia, so she named her after the Australian artist Yvonne Audette.
“I like training for Kim, she’s a very genuine person, I‘ve been blessed to have some ownership groups that have stuck with me for years and years.
“The group that are with Kim in Audette’s ownership are certainly enjoying the ride.”
– Racing NSW