Two State Options For The Talented Abbey Marie

Mick Kent trainer of Abbey Marie

Mick Kent trainer of Abbey Marie

Group One-winning mare Abbey Marie will be entered for upcoming stakes races in Melbourne and Sydney as she looks to get back to her best form.

Trainer Mick Kent has the option to run the mare on Saturday in either the Group Three Matron Stakes at Flemington or the Group One Coolmore Classic at Rosehill, although Abbey Marie also holds an entry for the Australian Cup.

At this stage the Cranbourne trainer is favouring staying closer to home to run at Flemington.

But that all could change depending on the weather.

"I'd fancy my chances up in Sydney with her if it stayed wet, but at this stage she's going to the Matron Stakes at Flemington," Kent said.

Abbey Marie has had two runs back following a long spell after contracting a mystery illness.

She won her first three starts including the Group One Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville last May.

She returned with a first-up eighth at Caulfield on February 11 before working home soundly when fourth to Silent Sedition over 1400m at Caulfield a fortnight later.

Kent said the rise to either 1500m in the Coolmore or the 1600m in the Matron was the ideal distance for Abbey Marie at this stage of her preparation.

"She had that long time off and missed some important trials but she ran all right first-up at Caulfield and ran a lot better last week," Kent said.

"I thought her run the other day was encouraging.

"I'm hoping she can get back to the level I know she can.

"Most horses wouldn't after what she went through."


By Craig Brennan

MELBOURNE, March 5 AAP