Mile a lit­mus test for Melito

Au­tumn as­pi­ra­tions go on the line in Chip­ping Nor­ton

Townsville Bulletin - - Racing -

S A T U R D A Y ’ S C h i p p i n g Nor­ton Stakes will be a lit­mus test for the rest of Melito’s au­tumn car­ni­val as­pi­ra­tions.

The reign­ing NSW Cham­pion for her deeds as a s p r i n t e r l a s t a u t u m n , Melito’s f ocus t his t i me around is on get­ting a strong 1600 me­tres with the $ 2 mil­lion Don­caster Mile in April the jewel in the crown.

The Group One Chip­ping Nor­ton at War­wick Farm will be her first test at 1600m since the spring of 2009 but trainer Ger­ald Ryan points to her first-up win in the Apollo Stakes ( 1400m) as a guide.

Melito raced on the pace and drew away from the favourite Hot Dan­ish to win com­fort­ably and Ryan sees no rea­son why she can’t do the same on Satur­day.

‘‘ She worked re­ally nicely this morn­ing and I’m happy with how she’s done since the Apollo,’’ Ryan said.

‘‘ Ev­ery­thing is go­ing how we want it to.’’

Melito was gi ven 5 4 kg w h e n w e i g h t s f o r t h e Don­caster were re­leased yes­ter­day with Whobe­go­tyou top­weight with 58kg.

Star mares Black Caviar and More Joy­ous re­ceived 57kg and 56.5kg re­spec­tively.

Whobe­go­tyou will carry half a kilo more than last year’s Chip­ping Nor­ton win­ner Th­e­seo.

‘ ‘ I ’ m h a p p y wi t h weight,’’ Ryan said.

‘ ‘ I t ’ s t hree ki­los weight-f or-age and pretty much what pected.’’

With Corey Brown rid­ing in Mel­bourne, Melito was part­nered for the first time by Bren­ton Av­dulla in the Apollo and he re­tains the

t h a t un­der t hat’s I ex- mount. Af­ter re­cently out­rid­ing his claim, Av­dulla joined the se­nior ranks in Syd­ney and has more than held his own.

He rode a fea­ture dou­ble at Rose­hill on Satur­day when he steered De­ci­sion Time to win the Fire­ball Qual­ity and Ilovethisc­ity to take out the Ho­bartville Stakes.

There were 15 en­tries taken for Chip­ping Nor­ton yes­ter­day in­clud­ing for­mer Macau cham­pion Luen Yat For­ever who came to Aus­tralia for the Cox Plate and re­mained here in the care of Peter Moody.

Gai Water­house has four en­tries – Caulfield Cup winn e r D e s c a r a d o , L o r n e Dancer, Once Were Wild and Th­e­seo.

Chris Waller has nom­i­nated Dan­leigh and Metal Bender, Joe Pride has Sa­cred Cho i c e a n d Vi s i o n And Power while David Payne also has two en­tries – Cen­ten­nial Park and Il­lus­tri­ous Blue.

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