Australian Thoroughbred

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11/2/2020 Maher outlines Cellsabeel schedule

The market suggests Cellsabeel has Wednesday’s Inglis Millennium at her mercy, but Ciaron Maher on Monday confirmed the star filly is unlikely to take her place in the $2 million race.

The Caulfield trainer said the need for the event – for which Cellsabeel is Play Up's $1.45 favourite – to be rescheduled from last Saturday to Wednesday, owing to wet weather, did not fit with his Golden Slipper plans for the daughter of Hinchinbrook.

As a race restricted to horses purchased out of Inglis sales, Millennium prizemoney does not count towards the Golden Slipper order of entry and Maher said she would almost certainly next be seen in the $250,000 Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m).

“The closer it gets to the Silver Slipper, the less likely we are to run (in the Millennium) because it’s just too quick a turnaround and that’s the race I’ve got penciled in,” Maher said from the Inglis Classic Sale on Monday morning.

“Obviously, with the Inglis race not being any benefit to her, the prizemoney to get into the Slipper, that’s her goal and that’s where we’re going.”

Cellsabeel contesting the Silver Slipper would rule out a start in the $1.5 million Group 1 Blue Diamond (1200m), which is run the same day – February 22.

“I’d say the Silver Slipper is probably the leading option at the moment,” Maher said.

Missing the Millennium will mean Cellsabeel will have one less run going into the Slipper, but Maher said she was forward enough to cope with it.

“She’s fit and ready to go,” he said of the $7 Golden Slipper favourite (Play Up's Futures betting market), who resumed with a six-length win at Rosehill on January 18.

“First up she ran to a very high rating and I thought she ran very well. She will take some improvement out of that, but she’s pretty bang on.”