I’m leaving it a bit late this week to speculate on the Group One Queensland Oaks to be run at Eagle Farm tomorrow. A race over 2400 metres, it will certainly find out the true staying fillies in the large field.
Can High Chaparral, as a sire, add to his already impressive haul this racing season with another winner? There are two High Chaparral fillies in the field who interestingly enough have the Sir Tristram/Zabeel factor as well. Fairy Oak, trained by Peter Moody is one and Utopia, trained by John Wallace (think Shoot Out) is the other. Toting the Zabeel factor too, is Absolute Joy. Her dam is non other Joie Denise, from the dominant Denise’s Joy family which includes Sunday Joy, Tuesday Joy and More Joyous. Joie Denise herself won the Queensland Oaks in 1995.
The Bart Cummings trained Dariana will probably start favourite. Sired by Redoute’s Choice there is a question mark on her ability to run the distance, though other daughters of that sire, for instance Miss Finland and Samantha Miss, both won the Victorian Oaks over 2500 metres.
Other fillies worthy of consideration are last start winners Marheta and Miss Keepsake. What with Dariana and Fairy Oak both drawing wide barriers, it’s anybody’s guess who will win, though I hope it is one of the High Chap girls.
Graceful Anna will also be racing tomorrow in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300 metres) in open company for the first time in her career. She’s up against a class field that includes Catapulted, Stryker (who beat her last time) and the very smart Border Rebel. Here’s wishing her luck. She’s a gutsy filly and could, with any luck, win this race.
Last week, my wishful trifecta almost came off. Hot Danish blitzed the Doomben 10,000 field with a great win, and Melito , consistent as ever, ran third. Whobegotyou signalled that he is close to being back to his best, running into second place. He’s now favourite for the Stradbroke.