Oaks Winner Aristia Returns At Flemington

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Fresh from Booker’s Oakleigh Plate triumph, co-trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra are set to unleash the stable’s other Group One winner Aristia who begins her autumn campaign in the Frances Tressady Stakes at Flemington.

Aristia made her mark during a busy seven-start spring preparation highlighted by wins in the Group Two Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and Group One VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.

The three-year-old resumes for her first start since the Oaks in Saturday’s 1400m Group Three race for fillies and mares, a week after stablemate Booker stormed to a first-up victory in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield.

“She looks great,” Zahra said.

“Her work has been good and her jump-outs have been good. Up to date we can’t really fault her.

“You are always nervous when you’ve got a horse who has had a tough spring coming back again, but to us she is showing us no signs of that.”

The Group One Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and Group One ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) in Sydney are among Aristia’s targets this autumn.

“They don’t lose a lot of residual fitness from the spring so she’s going to be quite forward in that sense,” Zahra said.

“Obviously Sydney is on the cards for us with her and I think she’s a better filly with a bit of cut in the ground as well so if it happens to rain up there then there’s no problem.

“It’s more a bit of a kick-off point but her jump-outs and work suggest she will run well.

“Whether the 1400-metres is a bit sharp for her, time will tell.”

Stablemate Sheezdashing resumes in the same race and she was a fast-finishing third in the Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington first-up last spring.

A dual Oaks placegetter last season, Sheezdashing also has Sydney targets with Zahra saying she appreciates rain-affected ground.

Saturday’s meeting has been brought forward with 36 degrees forecast and the firmness of the track by the final race is Zahra’s only question mark with Sheezdashing.

“She’s come back in good order,” he said.

“She trialled well last week. She loves Flemington and she always puts in so I think she will run a good race, but there’s a lot to come for her.”

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