Blazejowski set for first stakes race test

By: Mathew Toogood Thursday 27 February 202

With his regular rider Jye McNeil set to compete in Sydney, Blazejowski will have a new jockey when he steps up to stakes level for the first time at Flemington.

Craig Williams rides Blazejowski in Saturday's Group Three Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap (1400m) with McNeil originally booked to ride How Womantic in the Group One Surround Stakes at Randwick.

She has been scratched but McNeil, who has ridden Blazejowski in 12 of his 17 starts, will ride Bella Nipotina in the Sweet Embrace Stakes, a Golden Slipper lead-up.

Blazejowski won an 1100m-open handicap at Flemington in the first start of his current campaign last month before finishing sixth over 1400m at the same track with trainer Greg Eurell believing he had excuses.

"I thought his run was good last start," Eurell said.

"He was held in. He was looking for some daylight as they approached the straight.

"Finally he got out and hit the line pretty good.

"He needed to have a bit more time to wind up and get into the race. I was quite pleased with the way he did box on in the finish though and he never shirked the task."

The Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap has a field of nine with Blazejowski one of five runners at single figure odds in the TAB's market.

Blazejowski was at $6 on Thursday on the fourth line of betting with dual Group One placegetter Age Of Chivalry favourite at $3.50.

"If he gets a clear run at them on Saturday I'm sure he's going to be very competitive again," Eurell said.