Chris Waller’s smart Redoute’s Choice filly Tropicana Girl showed she was ready for a Group 1 challenge during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, staking her Queensland Oaks claims with a tidy win at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Three-year-old Tropicana Girl scored just her second career victory at lucky start number 13, entering the winners’ stall for the first time since September last year with her decisive one and three quarter length success over the Gai Waterhouse-trained Reuben Percival in the $27,000 TheRaces.Com.Au Handicap (1900m) yesterday.
Ridden by Tim Clark, Tropicana Girl overcame an awkward barrier eight draw and after racing four deep at the back of the straight, she slotted in nicely behind the leader before kicking away to hit the line strong.
Waller was quick to credit the win to a masterful ride by Clark.
“It was an outstanding ride and in my opinion it’s the type of ride you would take to the apprentice’s school to show them,” Waller said.
“It shows what you need to do if you have to work early.
“You need to compensate for that a bit in the run somewhere and he was able to do that for five or six hundred metres down the back straight by giving her a breather, and she was able to win the race.”
Yesterday Waller paid the first acceptance fee for Tropicana Girl in the $400,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m), his filly one of 21 still heading towards the Eagle Farm classic on June 4.
Sydney trainer Waller made the decision to pay up for the Oaks before Tropicana Girl won at Canterbury and by the afternoon he was thrilled with his early judgement.
“She will go to the Oaks now,” Waller said on Wednesday.
“At 9 o’clock this morning I had to make the decision whether to pay the first acceptance and I did that.
“It was a big step but she has done the fitness work, it was always the plan, and you’ve got to be in it to win it.”
Queensland Oaks betting is dominated by the in-form New Zealand filly Scarlett Lady, while Tropicana Girl is rated a $21 chance.