Time On Cavanough’s Side For It’s Me’s Kosciuszko Defence
By Ray Hickson
There’s no guarantee reigning The Kosciuszko champ It’s Me will be there to defend her title on October 16 but trainer Brett Cavanough says she’ll be given every chance.
The unbeaten mare is yet to return to Cavanough’s Scone base following rehab with Lee Everson in Victoria on a tendon injury likely suffered in winning the $1.3m country feature last October.
It was the second time It’s Me had injured a tendon so Cavanough said he can’t make any plans for her until he sees her in the flesh, which is likely to happen in the next couple of weeks.
“I don’t really know to be honest,’’ Cavanough said when asked about her chances of defending her crown.
“She’s had a lot of rehab and done a lot of miles but until I get my hands on her I don’t know.
“I haven’t seen her since the week after the Koscuiszko. She’s been in an out of the paddock doing a bit of swimming at the rehabilitation farm so we’ll see what happens after.”
It’s Me opened the $4.50 favourite with TAB for the 2021 The Kosciuszko, run at Royal Randwick on October 16, and she’s on the $34 line in the TAB Everest.
Country Championships winners Art Cadeau (2020) and Victorem (2018) are at $6 with Corowa sprinter Front Page ($8), Cavanough’s Fender and promising Tamworth galloper Ice In Vancouver (both $11) also in the market.
Cavanough isn’t ruling out targeting The Everest if It’s Me goes to another level again and knocks over a Group race early in her campaign.
He said working back from Everest day, regardless of which race she ultimately contests, there is more than enough time for the rising five-year-old to have a preparation that mirrors what happened in 2020.
“Last time she came to me I gave her a piece of work, turned her out for three weeks and brought her back and that was the preparation that led into the Kosi,’’ he said.
“I’ve still got four months, 16-18 weeks so anything is possible.
“The owners are really patient and they aren’t tied into a Kosciuszko or an Everest, they want to try to win a piece of black type with her.”
It’s Me made her debut in August last year winning a 1000m maiden at Scone, she then progressed to win two TAB Highways before going into The Kosciuszko with a month between runs and having her first attempt at 1200m.
She stamped her potential with a heart stopping, come from behind, win where she overcame traffic to win the world’s richest country race.
“You couldn’t dream that was going to happen, even though I knew she had a lot of ability as a two-year-old,’’ Cavanough said.
“The amazing thing was when she was measured up on those big days against horses that were going to the Everest, that was the stuff that stuck in my mind.
“If we can get her back and repeat that it’ll be really good.”