Impressive Aquacade now Auckland Cup favourite

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  • February 07, 2023
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Smart stayer Aquacade put her rivals to the sword at Tauranga on Sunday, cruising to a six-and-a-half length win in the J.A. Russell Ltd 2100 on a Heavy 10 surface.

The Lance Noble-trained mare has rocketed to favouritism in the Gr.2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) with TAB Bookmakers marking the four-year-old as $4.50 market leader ahead of Dionysus, Ladies Man and Self Obsession who are all rated an $8 chance.

Bred and raced by Brendan and Jo Lindsay of Cambridge Stud, the Dundeel mare has now won five of her 11 appearances, and prior to Sunday’s win had triumphed in the Dunstan Feeds Stayers’ Championship Final (2400m) at Te Rapa on a Good 4 track.

“She has performed on a Heavy 9 before but I was a little bit worried about the track today, but she was probably the most impressive she has been,” Noble said.

“I know maybe the quality of the field wasn’t the strongest but first time in open company, to put them away like that was very impressive.

“I was just saying to Brendan (Lindsay) that with the way the weather is at the moment, if you can handle a bit of rain it is certainly an advantage. She is as good on the dry track as she is on rain-affected so it is a plus.”

Aquacade will now head to the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) on February 18 at Pukekohe as the ideal lead-up to the set weights and penalties Auckland Cup on March 11 at the same venue.

“If you win the Avondale Cup, you’re ballot exempt and its penalty free for the Auckland Cup,” Noble said.

“She’s in good form and going to get in with the right weight, so we just need a bit of luck heading into the next two races.”

Noble said the mare had long been held in high regard by the stable.

“She was our Oaks horse last year and ran third in the Royal Stakes (Gr.2, 2000m) and chipped a fetlock, so we had to back off her and she had surgery.

“The extra time has really done her the world of good as a four-year-old.”

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