Ablaze to contest Stayer’s Cup

It’s not too often you hear two miles is short of a horse’s best distance, but that will be the case for quality New Zealand-bred stayer Ablaze (NZ) (Raise The Flag) when he contests the Stayer’s Cup (3200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

The eight-year-old gelding has been in hot form in Australia for trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, winning his last five races, including The Jericho Cup (4600m) and Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m).

The Stayer’s Cup will be his first run since his winning effort in the marathon Warrnambool feature and the stable’s Sydney foreman Annabelle Neesham believes he can continue his picket fence form line.

“Ablaze will contest the Stayer’s Cup and he is probably our best (chance) for the week,” she said.

“He won the Jericho Cup and he won the Grand Annual over 5500m, so the 3200m is probably short of his best, but if it is a wet slog then that will be to his liking.

“He will come up (to Sydney) on Thursday and that will be his first sight of Sydney.”

The son of Raise The Flag won six races in New Zealand for former trainers Brian and Shane Anderton before his sale to Australian interests.

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