Iron Lace Earns Shot at 2011 Australian Oaks

Chris Waller’s improving three-year-old filly Iron Lace has earned a shot at the 2011 AJC Australian Oaks after scoring another eye-catching win at Randwick on Wednesday.

Iron Lace, a well-bred daughter of Encosta De Lago, scored a solid three-quarter length victory over Diamond Jim in The Queens Park Handicap (1800m) at Randwick’s Kensington track, giving the filly her third successive win.

It has been a slow process getting Iron Lace up to scratch after she failed to impress early in her career.

After running third in the Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m) at Randwick in April last year at just her third race start, Waller opted to run Iron Lace in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) where she finished second last in the 15-horse field behind winner Skilled.

The filly finally broke her maiden status at Hawkesbury on February 3 when Waller stepped her up to 1800m for the first time and she stormed home to win a Maiden Plate by 2 ½ lengths.

Her good run continued at Canterbury on February where she thrived over 1900m to win by another easy margin.

On Wednesday she made in three on the trot with Waller naming her as a possibility for the $550,000 Group 1 AJC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on Doncaster Mile Day, Saturday April 16.

There are 94 fillies currently nominated for the 2011 Patinack Farm AJC Australian Oaks, Iron Lace one of three early entries for Waller along with Casula Gal and Savannah’s Choice.

Early AJC Australian Oaks betting markets have last year’s Crown Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse and runner-up Shamrocker, who recently took out the Group 1 Australian Guineas in an upset at Flemington, as the favourites.

Iron Lace is sitting at a quote of around $40 in the futures AJC Oaks odds while Waller’s other hopefuls are triple-figure roughies.

Before confirming a run in the AJC Oaks field, Waller will test Iron Lace at Group 1 level again in the Storm Queen Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day, April 2.

“That (the Storm Queen) will tell us where we are at with her,” Waller said.

“She’s a promising filly and the Oaks is the aim.”

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