Let’s Make Adeal’s win in the Group 3 Bart Cummings was a special victory for so many reasons.
The race was a target of owner Dennis Marks and mine all preparation. The decent rest after last Spring, the brief 3-run Autumn campaign in Adelaide and Brisbane, then the short break in the Queensland warmth allowed Let’s Make Adeal to kick off this preparation in Winter a healthy, refreshed horse with some residual fitness.
At her first run this campaign in the 1700m Heatherlie Handicap, she simply got too far out of her ground but ran on well. Her run in the Naturalism Stakes at Caulfield was solid when held up momentarily in the straight and perhaps unable to sprint with her opposition when it mattered most. So Nigel was extremely excited to get to the spacious Flemington track, over 2500m at her third run.
Despite the lure of higher prizemoney and status in the Group 1 Metropolitan in Sydney on Saturday, Nigel and Dennis stuck to the plan to run in the Bart Cummings. With the race winner exempt from the ballot in the Melbourne Cup and assured a start, that lure was more important.
Dwayne Dunn rode a perfect race on a mare that he knows. The step up in distance allowed him to hold a more forward position, and upon straightening, Let’s Make Adeal was cruising. Dwayne knew that holding her up longer may not be the wisest choice, so he trusted her stamina and drove Let’s Make Adeal to her fourth, and most important victory.
Everyone is aware of how much the Melbourne Cup means to most owners and trainers – none more so than Nigel and Dennis. This is Let’s Make Adeal’s third “Cup Campaign”. Her first two in the Spring of 2013 and 2014 resulted in her just missing the Cup field by a couple of spots. So it is a huge thrill to be now assured a Cup start. But we now have to get her to that race healthy and happy. A challenge not forgotten by Nigel and his team.
A decision will be made in a few days whether Let’s Make Adeal heads to the Caulfield Cup, the Moonee Valley Cup or the Geelong Cup, en route to the Melbourne Cup. Nigel and Dennis will make the right call to give her every chance of peaking at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
To have a Cup runner would obviously be a great excitement to Dennis. But it would also reward all owners in the Blackiston Racing stable and all the dedicated staff. Winning the race that honours the achievements of the late Bart Cummings, with a grand daughter of Let’s Elope, made Sunday’s victory even more special.