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Secluded left as Messara's Rosehill hope
Mathew Toogood
16:35 AEST Wed Dec 5 2012

A summer campaign has been ruled out for stakes winner Mahisara but stablemate Secluded could yet emerge as trainer Paul Messara's chance for Villiers Stakes success.

Messara has decided against running Mahisara in Saturday's Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill with his preference now to spell the four-year-old before a late autumn and winter campaign.

The trainer will still be represented at the Rosehill meeting by well-related mare Secluded who runs in a fillies and mares race, and a worthwhile result could make the Villiers Stakes an attractive target.

Secluded, a half-sister to Group One winner Melito, has been knocking on the door of a victory in recent starts and will step up in trip on Saturday.

"I'm testing her over 1500 metres for the first time but I'm confident she'll get the 1500," Messara said.

"It will be interesting to see how she copes with the distances around a mile, but she's been working very well and I'm very happy with her."

Secluded has been narrowly beaten by Classics and then Rose Pattern over 1350m at Rosehill in her past two starts.

"Had she won her last two, where she's only been beaten a short-head, then we would be pretty happy with how her preparation has gone," Messara said.

"She's only just missed out and I think she should have won last start."

Messara admitted it would be a step up in grade if Secluded went to the Group Two Villiers at Warwick Farm on December 22.

"She would have to run really well (on Saturday) but I guess it's a possibility if we want to head in that direction," the trainer said.

"I think she's going to be a stakes horse in time, it's just a matter of whether she needs a bit more experience before she gets there."

Apprentice Sam Clipperton, who'll be aiming for back-to-back Festival Stakes wins on the Ron Quinton-trained Monton, retains the ride on Secluded.

Messara said Mahisara was "due for a break" and wouldn't contest the Festival Stakes.

"We'll probably give him a month off and then head towards the late autumn and also Queensland," Messara said.

"A race like the Stradbroke at the back-end of the Queensland winter carnival is a possibility."

Mahisara won three of his four starts during the spring including the Group Three Sandown Stakes (1500m).

The trainer said multiple Group One-winning sprinter Ortensia was progressing towards a return in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington in February.


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