Avdulla likes Ilovethiscity
Brenton Avdulla is using the successful comeback of Flight Stakes winner Secret Admirer as a key guide to stablemate Ilovethiscity’s chances at Rosehill on Saturday. Because of suspension, Avdulla watched on as Secret Admirer ran a close second to Sincero in the Tramway Handicap last week.
Her performance was enough to boost his confidence about Ilovethiscity playing a major role in the $200,000 Group Two Theo Marks Stakes (1300m).
“Both Secret Admirer and Ilovethsictity resumed on the same day last month and how they came through the run on a heavy track was always going to be a query,” Avdulla said.
“But Secret Admirer showed no effects with her Tramway run and Ilovethiscity has had the benefit of an extra week to recover.”
Secret Admirer and Ilovethiscity and their trainer Grahame Begg have been central to Avdulla’s rise as a leading jockey.
Avdulla won his first Group One race when Secret Admirer claimed last year’s Flight Stakes.
Despite her autumn absence, the former Victorian rider was back for more Group One glory when Ilovethiscity took out the Randwick Guineas.
Avdulla was in the saddle when Ilovethiscity resumed on a bright note at weight-for-age when runner-up to Pinwheel in the Warwick Stakes.
It was Ilovethiscity’s first placing in three heavy track starts, giving the four-year-old an ideal launching pad for spring riches.
“He’ll be improved by the run again on Saturday but I think he’ll still be fit enough to win on Saturday.”
Ilovethiscity has received 58kg, one kilogram less than his Warwick Stakes conqueror who is topweight.
Trainer Chris Waller has nominated four horses for the Theo Marks, including Group One winners Triple Honour and Pressday.
Magic Millions and Queensland Guineas winner Torio’s Quest is set to resume on 53kg.
Anthony Cummings, meanwhile, will supply a worthy support team to Golden Rose hotpot Smart Missile.
He holds high hopes for a stakes double with talented mare Gybe who, like Smart Missile, will be ridden by Glen Boss.
Cummings said he was planning a gear change for the mare when she takes on her own sex in the $100,000 Listed Sheraco Stakes.
“Coming back to the 1100 metres means she will need to be a bit sharper so I’ve decided to put the blinkers on her,” he said.
Sheraco Stakes weights are headed by Graceful Anna (58kg) ahead of Solar Charged (57kg).