Widden Stakes Next For Aghna

Aghna missed out on a place in the Magic Millions Classic, but trainer Gabrielle Englebrecht has revealed that the talented filly will have her next race start in the 2016 Widden Stakes at Royal Randwick on January 30.

Ty Angland rode Aghna in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick on Monday. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Ty Angland rode Aghna in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick on Monday. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Aghna made her racing debut with a credible third behind Capitalist and Niccolance in the Wyong Magic Millions Classic (1100m) at Wyong on December 17 and Englebrecht was keen to run her in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast last Saturday, but she missed out on a place in the field.

Englebrecht instead opted to give Aghna a brief stint in the spelling paddock and will give the daughter of Foxwedge an opportunity at black type level in the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 30.

“If I had have given her another run after Wyong I possibly could have had enough prizemoney to get a run in that race, but I didn’t think that it was worth pushing her that hard,” Englebrecht said.

“We elected to be a bit patient and as the racing gods would have it we didn’t get a run.

“She had a nice ten days in the paddock after Wyong and we will just head for the Widden Stakes instead.

“We will revaluate what we do with her after that time.

“With all two-year-olds you just take them day by day and we will see what we can do with her this preparation and hopefully get some more black-type into her.”

Aghna contested a barrier trial over 838 metres at Royal Randwick on Tuesday and she led from start to finish to record an impressive victory from Smart Amelia and So Serene.

Englebrecht was very impressed with the early speed that Aghna showed in the barrier trial and she believes that the juvenile has improved every single time she has been given an opportunity to gallop.

“She actually quite surprised me,” Englebrecht said.

“She is just improving out of sight and every time I take her out, be it for a trial or a race, then she impresses me.

“Her very first-out jump out here at home she came last in it, so to think how far she has come since then all in the one preparation I couldn’t be any happier with her.”

The Widden Stakes is always a key lead-up race to the Golden Slipper and recent winners included Driefontein (2012), Overreach (2013), Mossfun (2014) and Fireworks (2014).

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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.