Peter Snowden’s progressive filly Divorces ran the ideal Queensland Oaks trial at her sunshine state debut on the weekend, taking out one of the feature races at the Gold Coast’s Prime Minister’s Cup meeting.
Domesday three-year-old Divorces was given a beautiful ride from champion hoop Hugh Bowman, scoring for the punters as the $3.50 favourite in the $125,000 Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m).
Over the line two and a quarter lengths ahead of In A Tangle ($20), while Tracey Bartley’s $101 roughie Surpassing added value to the winning trifecta finishing a close third, Divorces looked right on track to tackle Group 1 glory in Brisbane this winter.
Snowden has Divorces nominated for the $400,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 4, but the Warwick Farm-based trainer has warned she is no certain starter in the Classic.
“She’s still a bit questionable over ground in my mind,” Snowden said.
“I originally thought a mile would be as far as she’d get.
“She hit heavy tracks in Sydney and drew wide and we had to ride her forward, but today (Saturday) when we switched her off she showed the turn of foot we knew she had when ridden patiently.”
To date Divorces has won just two of her 14 career starts, her only other success coming in the Group 3 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield last September.
She has shown plenty of promise this year, however, starting with her first-up third to Peter Moody’s Do Ra Mi in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 12.
Next start the Darley-owned Divorces came within one and a quarter lengths of the Gai Waterhouse-trained Needs Further when second in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
In her last run before the Gold Coast Bracelet she was also gallant when fourth to Sworn To Secrecy over the Randwick mile in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes.
Now Divorces sits at the top of the Queensland Oaks odds as the $6.50 favourite ahead of Savabeel filly Scarlett Lady ($7.50) from New Zealand, undefeated this prep having won her past four starts at home including the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m).
Other three-year-old fillies in the market include the Tim Martin-trained Vinery Stud Stakes runner-up Fibrillation ($8), Zabeel filly Heidilicious ($8) who won at Sandown last start, Gold Coast Bracelet fourth-placegetter I Walk The Line ($8.50) and Mark Kavanagh’s Group winning daughter of Redoute’s Choice Kittens ($10) who ran a game fourth against the boys in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Sunday.
Snowden said he would set Divorces along the traditional Queensland Oaks path, seeing how she performed race by race before making a final decision on whether to accept her for the Group 1 event.
Her next start will be the $175,000 Group 3 Doomben Roses (2020m) on May 21.
“We’ll assess again where we’re at with her after the Roses,” Snowden said.
“I’ve a question mark on her at the mile and a half but when fillies are going well you don’t stop them.”