Maturing Mac ‘N’ Cheese in ‘very good order’ for Auraria Stakes

Mac N Cheese racing news
Mac ‘N’ Cheese winning the Listed Oaklands Plate in July 2021. (Photo: Newgate Farm)

A literal bump in her preparation has done nothing to prevent Mac ‘N’ Cheese’s march towards Saturday’s Group 3 Auraria Stakes at Morphettville – and the upcoming Australian Oaks.

The McEvoy team has the three-year-old mare flying – which is exactly what she did a fortnight ago, bouncing off a heavy bump halfway up the straight before powering away to win the Listed Clare Lindop Stakes (1600m) by a widening three lengths.

“It certainly seemed to spur her on, it didn’t unbalance her at all,” said co-trainer Tony McEvoy.

“It hit her so flush that she just seemed to switch over her run and away she went.”

Mac ‘N’ Cheese is a $3.20 favourite with online bookmakers for this weekend’s 1800m test. Despite two slashing wins to launch her current prep, her price is inflated by the presence of interstate visitors My Whisper ($4), Stray ($10) and Bon’s A Pearla ($3.90), with the latter a Group 1 placegetter in the Australian Guineas at Flemington two starts ago.

After attending the yearling sales in Sydney earlier this week, McEvoy was greeted with some positive news about Mac ‘N’ Cheese upon returning to SA.

“I was talking to Barend Vorster at the trials (Thursday) morning and he said she feels incredible,” McEvoy said of his conversation with the leading SA hoop.

“She’s trained on beautifully and she seems in very good order.

“On her last run, I don’t think the distance will be a problem. Certainly don’t look at her pedigree or you’ll get nervous, but on that performance another 200m is not going to worry her.”

The daughter of Sebring has always shown promise and won an Oaklands Plate on a heavy track at Morphettville Parks at her third start, but is now realising her full potential.

“Yeah, she’s furnished a bit, hasn’t she?” McEvoy noted.

“She was missing the start badly in her early days. But last start was the best she’d jumped at the gate, so yeah, she’s arriving.

“Her goal is the Australasian Oaks, and it always has been. From last year, that’s what we set her for and she’s really charging towards it impressively.”

Bon’s A Pearla, top weight in the set weights and penalties race, looks Mac ‘N’ Cheese’s main danger, although the other interstate raiders – including Maher & Eustace runner Darzela – must all be respected.

Meanwhile, McEvoy believes Mac ‘N’ Cheese’s stablemate Naiconi can run a race in the 2YO feature, the Listed Dequetteville Stakes (1050m).

The daughter of Nicconi has two seconds to show from her two career starts, but is likely to produce her best tomorrow, according to McEvoy.

“She’s a really nice filly. At her first start she ran super at Ballarat, giving a really nice horse (Crosswinds) a start and nearly running it down,” he said.

“Crosswinds went on and won a stakes race at the Valley at its next start. We went to a maiden and she found one that came off her back and beat her, but she did all the work.

“She’s just got to find her rhythm this Saturday.

“She came from last at her first start, then she led at her next start, so she’ll be up on the pace, but I’m hoping with a set of blinkers on her, that she’ll find a length.

“That’s all she needs.”

Victorian visitor Bistro is the narrow favourite ($3) to make it two straight Morphettville wins, after claiming the Listed Cinderella Stakes (1050m) on Adelaide Cup Day.

The Richard & Chantelle Jolly camp is a big chance to claim a hometown victory via See You In Heaven and impressive last-start winner Aitch Two Oh, which romped to a five-length win over 1000m at Morphettville a fortnight ago.

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