2016 Hobart Cup an Option for Azurite

January 29th, 2016

Trainer Tony McEvoy has been pleased with the form and class displayed by Azurite through his short Australian tenure and has revealed the 2016 Hobart Cup (2400m) will figure as the major target for the British import should he perform well second-up this weekend.

Azurite has been a strong and consistent performer since first appearing on course competitively in 2013; posting three wins and two minors through only twelve starts before being transferred to the care of McEvoy at the conclusion of his 2015 campaign.

Having run a credible fourth in the LF Sign Group BM84 (1600m) in his Australian debut on January 2nd, McEvoy was pleased enough with the performance but conceded the horse will probably have to win Saturday’s The Summer Series BM84 at Flemington to warrant a 2016 Hobart Cup berth.

“I thought it was solid. He ran very well, kept ticking up to the line,” McEvoy told Racing Victoria.

“More importantly, Damien Oliver – who had some experience on this horse at Royal Ascot – rode him, and he was very pleased with his first run in Australia.

“He’s had time to get over that run, and he looks better for that run.

“Up to the 1800m will be very suitable.

“His work is telling us that he’ll be very competitive.

A standout performer through six starts in 2014, highlighted by two wins and two minor place finishes, Azurite returned for his final European preparation seventh in the Prix Claude Rouget (1950m); progressing to sixth in the Prix Des Centaures (2400m) before placing thirteenth in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot on June 19th.

Nominations for the 2016 Hobart Cup have been taken, while a final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Friday February 5th.

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