Oaks Hopes Line up to Smell The Roses

May 19, 2011

Oaks Hopes Line up to Smell The Roses


Divorces is the early Queensland Oaks favourite

Many of the season’s most exciting three-year-old fillies will put their Queensland Oaks hopes on the line at Doomben this weekend, including the clear Peter Snowden-trained Divorces.

Promising Domesday filly Divorces stormed into contention for the upcoming Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm after she coasted to a tidy two and a half length win in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) on May 7.

The victory was her first since taking out the Group 3 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) last September and the ease of the win showed Snowden and supporters that Divorces was ready for an Oaks campaign.

Divorces will next take to the Doomben track this Saturday, one of a capacity field of acceptors for the $175,000 Group 3 The Roses (2020m) on Doomben Cup Day.

At the top of The Roses odds paying around $2.80, Divorces is also the early Queensland Oaks favourite at a quote of $7.

Paul Vincent from Luxbet explained why Divorces was so short in Saturday’s market despite the large field of fellow fillies she will face.

“She absolutely toyed with her rivals winning at the Gold Coast and from her inside draw (barrier five) will get the right run and has too much class for these,” Vincent said to Races.com.au about Divorces.

Still, there are four other last start winning fillies among The Roses acceptors including boom Kiwi runner Scarlett Lady.

The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson-trained daughter of Savabeel is unbeaten this prep having won all four of her race starts back home in New Zealand.

Drawn one inside the favourite for Saturday, Scarlett Lady will jump from barrier four as she looks to bring her scintillating form to Australian shores before backing up in the Queensland Oaks.

Other top Oaks hopefuls that are set to fight it out in The Roses include the John Sadler-trained Heidilicious, Lee Freedman’s Becerra and Gold Coast Bracelet fourth placegetter I Walk The Line.

Prepared by father-son training team Patrick and Wayne Webster, smart Conatus filly I Walk The Line broke her maiden status at Rosehill back in December over 1800m.

The impressive four length Rosehill win opened her trainers’ eyes to the fact she could indeed step up to the 2400m and I Walk The Line began being tested for an Oaks campaign.

After her maiden success, the Conatus filly won her next start over 2020m at Doomben by an equally commendable five and a half lengths confirming her potential as a stayer.

First-up this year I Walk The Line finished a well-beaten 10th to Red Tracer in the Listed PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) at Canterbury on April 8.

She improved over 1400m next start when fourth in the Listed HB Carr Stakes (1400m) before her game fourth place finish behind Divorces in the Gold Coast Bracelet.

I Walk The Line is rated an $11 chance in The Roses after drawing awkwardly with barrier 16 and is at $12 in the early Queensland Oaks odds.

Having had some issues settling into Queensland this season, I Walk The Line pleased Pat Webster immensely with her effort in the Bracelet.

“She had a good run until the 600 metres in the Bracelet and it may have been a better run if her rider (Tim Clark) had waited longer on her,” Webster said.

“It took her a little longer to settle in and she was a little too fresh.

“She’s shown she can stay and she’s a lot fitter and tougher now.”

With Tim Clark engaged to ride The Roses rival Savannah’s Choice on Saturday, Glen Colless will take the mount on I Walk The Line for the first time.

Despite being slapped with the ‘visitor’s draw’ out wide, Webster hopes the help of local hoop Colless will get his filly to the line first.

Webster will also be represented in the $125,000 Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday with Thankgodyou’rehere who also drew poorly with barrier 15 of 16.

“I can’t take a trick with barriers and it’s out of my hands now,” Webster said.

“I’m disappointed with the draws for both of them and I can’t tell Glen (Colless) how to ride I Walk The Line from out there.”

Secret Savings gelding Thankgodyou’rehere comes off two brave runs this season when second to Atomic Force in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Randwick last month and then a fourth place finish beaten less than a length in the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup (1300m) at the Gold Coast on May 7.

“We didn’t see the best of him for some reason as he didn’t settle in the Prime Minister’s Cup,” Webster said.

“I noticed he was having a look around so I’m putting winkers on him.”

Thankgodyou’rehere is rated a $5.50 chance in the BRC Sprint behind favourite King Pulse ($4.80), with Webster hoping for a win from the five-year-old to help qualify them for next month’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm.

“He’s only got 51.5 kilos in the Stradbroke so he may need to win this race to get a penalty,” Webster said.

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