Aristia hits the road chasing another Group 1 in Vinery Stud Stakes

Mar 29, 2019

A shift in travel plans could make all the difference for VRC Oaks winner Aristia in Saturday’s Group I Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.

Aristia will attempt to become the first filly since Mosheen in 2011/12 to complete the VRC Oaks and Vinery Stud Stakes double.

Aristia started her Sydney autumn campaign with a steady third to Verry Elleegant and Seabrook in the Group II Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) on March 16. The Lonhro filly travelled to Sydney on the Thursday night before that race but will head north a day earlier for the Vinery Stud Stakes.

Co-trainer Simon Zahra said the extra 24 hours would give Aristia the chance to better rehydrate ahead of her $500,000 assignment.

“We’re taking her a day early this time to Sydney just so you can get them up there and rehydrate them fully,” Zahra, who trains Aristia in partnership with Mathew Ellerton, said.

“When you go up on the Thursday night, you can’t rehydrate them on the Friday because of the rules so it’s a bit harder to travel horses these days.

“We’re going a bit earlier and hopefully that works with her.”

Aristia finished more than five lengths from Verry Elleegant in the Phar Lap Stakes but there are plenty of factors that suggest she would be harder to beat in the Vinery Stud Stakes.

Aristia’s form is strong at 2000m and further. She won the Wakeful Stakes and ran a close second in the Ethereal Stakes at her two 2000m outings before her VRC Oaks triumph.

The prospect of a firmer surface on Saturday is also a plus for Aristia, who has pleased the stable with her work since the Phar Lap Stakes.

“She just worked over seven (furlongs – 1400m) on Tuesday and worked home in about 24 seconds for her last 400(m),” Zahra said. “She was really keen so she’s still quite fresh.

“She had a good gallop on Friday so she has done enough work for the 2000m.

“I think the 2000m will suit her perfectly and a bit of give will be perfect for her and she’s going to be a lot fitter for the Vinery.”

Golden Slipper-winning rider Damian Lane will stick with Aristia in the Vinery Stud Stakes. Lane steered Aristia to her Wakeful Stakes and VRC Oaks victories in the spring.