Trainer Ciaron Maher is looking to step his...
The John Sadler-trained filly Heidilicious has shortened dramatically in the markets to win next month’s Queensland Oaks after her smart win at Sandown on Sunday.
An impeccably-bred three-year-old by Zabeel out of Danehill mare Kerkira, Heidilicious continued her consistent career scoring her second victory from four starts when beating home What A Beauty by half a length in the Jeannie King Handicap over the mile at Sandown Lakeside on the weekend.
“Fantastic, she put the writing on the wall first up and it was good to see that she went on with it today and hit the line nicely,” stable manager Troy Corstens said on Sunday.
The victory, which came three weeks after her narrow first-up second to Fashion over 1400m at Flemington, has seen Victorian trainer Sadler earmark Heidilicious for the $400,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 4.
Purchased for $160,000 at the Karaka Premier Sale as a yearling, Heidilicious is a full sister to 2010 VRC St Leger placegetter Sherpa Tenzing and is also from the same family as champion racehorse and successful sire High Chaparral.
The 2011 Queensland Oaks attracted 123 nominations last week with futures markets for the three-year-old fillies’ showdown lead by Savabeel filly from New Zealand Scarlett Lady at $7.50 who on Saturday won the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.
Scarlett Lady is prepared by Graeme and Debbie Rogerson in New Zealand but also has Aussie connections with her Sydney owner Max Whitby.
“Graeme (Rogerson) and I had a big thrill when we won the Cox Plate together with this filly’s sire, Savabeel, and we are racing a lot of that stallion’s progeny,” Whitby said trackside at Te Rapa on Saturday.
“She (Scarlett Lady) is clearly a very smart filly and Graeme and Debbie encouraged me to come to see the race.
“She’s one of the smartest fillies I’ve had in the stable for some time.
“Next season I think she is good enough to win the Caulfield Cup, but, in the meantime, she is going to Brisbane on Wednesday.”
Scarlett Lady has the Group 3 Doomben Roses (2020m) scheduled as her Australian debut on May 21 followed a fortnight later by the Queensland Oaks.
Another last-start winner at the Te Rapa meet on Saturday heading towards the Queensland Oaks is Shez Sinsational who won the NZ Bloodstock Insurance Handicap (2000m) at her first test over the distance.
Tim Martin’s improving daughter of Diatribe Fibrillation follows Scarlett Lady in the Oaks odds at $8 just ahead of the now $9 third favourite Heidilicious.
Other notable fillies heading towards Oaks glory include the Patrick and Wayne Webster-trained Walk The Line and Kittens.
Mark Kavanagh’s daughter of Redoute’s Choice Kittens was also in the winners’ stall over the weekend taking out the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2020m) at Morphettville.
Kittens will next contest Sunday’s Group 1 SA Derby (2400m) against an open field at Morphettville on way to her Queensland campaign.
Group 1 racing for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival kicks off at Doomben on May 14 with Black Caviar coming to town for the highly-anticipated BTC Cup.
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