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Sandown gallop to decide Abbey’s return

A gallop at Sandown will determine whether the unbeaten Abbey Marie is ready for her racetrack return.

Trainer Mick Kent will give the mare a gallop at Sandown on Tuesday and then decide whether she heads back there on Saturday for the Group Three Summoned Stakes.

Abbey Marie hasn’t raced since winning the Australasian Oaks at Morphettville in May at just her third career start.

Not long after her win, Abbey Marie spiked a temperature and was rushed to the Werribee veterinary clinic.

While the source of the infection could not be found, Abbey Marie finally responded to a course of antibiotics before spending time in the paddock.

Wet tracks at Cranbourne, where Kent trains, have also hindered Abbey Marie’s return.

She was entered at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day and again at Flemington in the Myer Stakes on October 31, but Kent said she wasn’t quite ready.

“The tracks have dried out which has helped,” he said.

“We’ve been awash down here at Cranbourne which has put us at a disadvantage.”

Kent had planned to give Abbey Marie one run before she had another break ahead of an autumn preparation.

But he said Abbey Marie was now at a stage where he would be happy to give her a spell without racing her.

Abbey Marie’s first autumn assignment is the C F Orr Stakes at Caulfield in February.

“We want to come back and run her in the Orr and after that she’s in for a pretty big autumn,” Kent said.

“I’ll work her tomorrow then decide whether to put her in the paddock for three or four weeks or give her the run and then put her out for a couple of weeks.”

Abbey Marie was a Sandown maiden winner on debut in March, graduating to city class at Caulfield in April before her Oaks victory in May.

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