New Zealand filly Scarlett Lady has been declared a $3.50 favourite for the Group One Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The three year old Savabeel filly has been the best backed runner in the Oaks following her scintillating performance in the Group Three Doomben Roses.
Before winning at her first start on Australian soil, Scarlett Lady was able to string together a sequence of four wins in New Zealand, two of which were over 2000m, meaning she should run out a strong 2400m.
Scarlett Lady is owned by Max Whitby, a director of the Australian Turf Club.
Whitby was in the market for a Savabeel horse that would be competitive as a three year old before going on to the Cups during the Spring.
“She has done a great job and I’m hoping she can win the Oaks and then do an Ethereal and win the Caulfield Cup,” said Whitby.
Ethereal, who won the 2001 Queensland Oaks, before winning the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups later in the year, had a very similar form line to Scarlett Lady, in that she was dominant in New Zealand before winning the Doomben Roses.
Sheila Laxon, who trained Ethereal to that golden run will saddle up Crafty Lady, who has been rated a $31 chance in the Oaks.
Despite her long price, Scott Seamer, who incidentally was the rider of Ethereal, rates Crafty Lady as a realistic chance in the Oaks.
“She’s a progressive filly who has improved every start. I rate her a good chance and she’s bred to get the distance,” Seamer said.
The John Sadler trained Heidilicious is second favourite at $6.00, despite the fact she was well beaten in the Roses, while Tim Martin’s Fibrillation has met with some support and is currently rated an $8.00 chance after she defeated the older horses in a benchmark 80 Handicap at Rosehill last start.
The Peter Snowden trained Divorces ($8.00) has come in for support despite concerns she will not run out a strong 2400m.
“I am really happy with her, she looks in great order. She has settled back into her work and that will certainly help come Saturday.” Snowden said.
A field of 17 fillies will contest the 2011 edition of the Queensland Oaks.