Championship features beckon Lizzie L’Amour

But just which showpiece event that is hasn't yet been decided, with Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman covering their bases with entries for the Gr.1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 7 and both the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at the same track a week later.
TAB bookmakers have installed Zabeel five-year-old Lizzie L'Amour as a prohibitive $2 favourite for Saturday's weight-for-age feature,in which she defends her title after her half-head win over Benzini last year, again with Matt Cameron in the saddle.
She added her second Group One win with success in last month's Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa and has given her trainers no cause for concern since.
"She's going well, but I just hope the track isn't too hard for her because there's been no rain," Baker said.
"I am happy with her. She seems a happy horse and she's fit."
Ellerslie was rated a good 2 earlier this week and track staff applied 10mm of irrigation on Thursday after only 1mm of rain arrived, despite a forecast predicting several wet days leading into Saturday's Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) meeting.
Baker said the Lorna and Gary Moore-raced Lizzie L'Amour's Sydney programme would depend on how she ran on Saturday.
"She's in the Sydney Cup and she can stay. She's won her only start at 2400m," Baker said.
"She's probably at her best at 1 1⁄4 m but we think she can stay well."
Lizzie L'Amour has been allotted 117lbs in the Sydney Cup and 116lbs in the Doncaster.
Race rival and stablemate Nicoletta also holds an entry for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and for the Gr.1 Coolmore Legacy Stakes (formerly the Queen of the Turf, 1 m) at Randwick the same day.
The Savabeel four-year-old placed in the Herbie Dyke Stakes and has since finished fourth in the Listed Kaimai Stakes (2000m) at Matamata.
"She's an improving horse. We are happy with the way she's going and we think she can figure in Saturday's race," Baker said.
Rounding out the stable's hand in the New Zealand Stakes is last-start Ellerslie winner Saint Emilion, who has twice finished fourth in Group One weight-for-age company and won the Gr.3 OMF Stakes (2000m) under the weight-for-age conditions at Ellerslie last November.
"He's won four of his 10 starts at Ellerslie and though he's second-up, he's pretty fit," Baker said.
"He's betwixt and between with weight-for-age racing because under handicaps he gets too much weight and at weight-for-age, he's up against the top ones."
Leith Innes rides Saint Emilion, who is on the third line of betting at $7.50, with Opie Bosson taking the ride on $12 shot Nicoletta.

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