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Alizee back to business in Christmas Classic

Mike Hedge

The making of a star racehorse and of a breeding dynasty resumes at Randwick on Saturday when Alizee makes her comeback in the Listed Christmas Classic.

One of Godolphin’s team of G1 winners during 2018, Alizee has collected two victories at the top level, the 2017 Flight Stakes and the 2018 Queen of the Turf Stakes.

Alizee had been due to make her spring return in the Winx Stakes last August but bled in the days before the race and was duly stood down from racing for a mandatory three months.

With that issue now behind her, Alizee has shown encouraging signs in training and is expected to begin making amends for her absence when she runs on Saturday.

“It was heartbreaking to watch all those good fillies and mares races during the spring without her in them,” said trainer James Cummings.

“I’d have to say we’ve been waiting with bated breath for her comeback. She’s a mare that everyone in the team is keen to see back at the track.”

Alizee’s last run was her G1 Queen Of The Turf win at Randwick on 14 April, but she comes to Saturday’s race ready to run.

“Her trials have been good and there’s plenty of improvement to come from the Randwick trial win last week,” Cummings said.

“She’s ready to run really well.”

As well as being an outstanding galloper, Alizee represents a maternal family that is carving out a dominant place in Australian racing.

A daughter of Sepoy, Alizee is out of the talented race mare Essaouira (Exceed And Excel) whose five foals to race have all won, including the G1 winner and Darley stallion Astern (Medaglia d’Oro), the highly promising two-year-old winner Tassort (Brazen Beau) as well as the handy sprinters Mogador and Marrakesh.

The early start to Alizee’s campaign will allow the Godolphin team to examine the variety of autumn goals that await.

“As far as her targets this prep, we have an open mind, but I feel she’d be competitive at weight-for-age, so that opens up some good possibilities,” Cummings said.

“But we don’t want to muddy the waters just yet."

“We’ll all get together after she runs and consider all the possibilities.”

While Alizee has the steadying handicap of 60.5kg, she has twice been a first-up winner.