Abidewithme chases elusive Group One

1 Dec 2016

If good things come to those who wait, Abidewithme will get her Group One win at Trentham in the Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes on Saturday.

She is in foal to Tavistock and will have her final start in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa in early February.

The Captain Cook will be her 15th start at the highest level but co-trainer Stephen Autridge believes she is better equipped to win a big race now than at any other stage in her career.

"She's finally come of age and being in foal has probably helped as well," he said.

"When she came back in for this campaign she looked the best she had ever been. She's never been very big or strong and is only just getting there now. She was always going to get better with time and has just taken longer than most."

Abidewithme, a Redoute's Choice mare, had her first run in Group One company in November 2012, when she tackled the 1000 Guineas at her third start and also contested the New Zealand Oaks as a three-year-old.

She ran third in the 2015 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes at Te Aroha and ran second, beaten a neck by Perfect Fit, this year and was fourth in the 2014 Makfi Stakes at Hastings. Abidewithme also had three Group One starts for Melbourne trainer Peter Moody.

She has had only two starts this term, finishing third at Ellerslie and then beating her Captain Cook rivals El Pescado and Julinsky Prince in the Gr.2 Tauranga Stakes.

"She worked beautifully on the plough on Tuesday morning when Danielle [Johnson] came over to ride her," said Autridge, who trains in partnership with Jamie Richards.

Johnson will be having her first ride on Abidewithme on Saturday, replacing regular rider Michael McNab, who is suspended. ? NZ Racing Desk