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Abbey Marie ready for Caulfield return

Undefeated mare Abbey Marie will make her long-awaited racetrack return at Caulfield.

But which race she runs in on Saturday is still to be determined.

Abbey Marie holds entries in both the Group One C F Orr Stakes (1400m) and the Group Three Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) against her own sex.

The Mick Kent-trained mare hasn’t raced since winning the Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville last May.

Shortly after her Group One win, Abbey Marie contracted a mystery infection and spent some time in the Werribee Veterinary Hospital.

Once over the illness the mare had three weeks in the paddock before Kent set about getting her ready for a spring campaign.

But wet tracks, especially on her home track at Cranbourne, thwarted her comeback although Kent said she was close to having a start.

“I was always behind during the spring,” Kent said.

“We had three sets of trials here at Cranbourne cancelled so we decided to pull up stumps.

“She had only three weeks off after being crook in hospital but we got her over that and I was happy to train her then stop her.

“She’s come back much happier now, fitter and healthier.”

Abbey Marie missed a barrier trial on Monday when the Cranbourne trials were delayed a day because of heavy rain and instead the mare galloped on Tuesday morning.

Kent says the distances of both the Geoffrey Belmaine and Orr Stakes are short of Abbey Marie’s best and he will see how she performs on Saturday before deciding what path to take.

“I would have trialled her but she’s running Saturday and I thought it was a bit too close to trial her and then run her,” Kent said.

“Both races are too short for her and the Orr looks particularly strong this year so we could quite easily see her in the mares’ race.

“She’s entered in all the races in Sydney and she could go to the Peter Young and the Australian Cup and then to the BMW.

“Or there’s also the Mannerism and the Coolmore but at this stage there’s no aim.

“We’ll see how she’s going and make a decision.

“She needs to have a day out as she’s been a long time off the scene.”

Stablemate Supido clocked 45.77 seconds to win an 800m-barrier trial on Tuesday and is set to make his return in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington on February 18.

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