Albonetti has returned from a serious leg injury to lead home a quinella for her sire Ustinov in the Sofitel Girls Day Out Hcp (2500m) at Flemington.
The Sue Jaensch trained mare raced on the pace and ran the trip right out to defeat Ustinov’s last-start Moonee Valley winner Sir Mako by two lengths on Saturday. The mare sustained a fractured humerus in last year’s Moonee Valley Cup and was sidelined until July.
“She couldn’t do anything for months,” Jaensch explained. “She’s been nominated for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and this win will get her confidence back.”
Albonetti (6m Ustinov – Command Performer by Royal Academy) will have to win the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield or The Bart Cummings at Flemington to guarantee a start in either leg of the cups double.
She will meet Sir Mako again in The Bart Cummings.
Albonetti is raced by owner-breeders David and Rhonda Addison who have been TBV members since 1974. The Longwood couple operate Mockingbird Hill Stud and they also bred Vain Queen who won the G3 Mumm Stakes at Flemington on VRC Oaks day last year.
Vain Queen (Artie Schiller) was runner-up in the G1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley in March before retiring to stud for a first-up cover to Sebring.
Ustinov was conceived in Kentucky by champion sire Seeking The Gold but was foaled here after his Hall of Fame dam Let’s Elope was repatriated to Australia. He was runner-up to Lonhro in the G1 Caulfield Guineas and followed up with a Group 2 victory in the AAMI Vase at Moonee Valley.
Ustinov stood in New Zealand before being repatriated to Australia. He stands for a $4,400 (inc gst) service fee at Moorookyle Park.