Scarlett Lady in Derby Frame

Queensland Oaks winner Scarlett Lady remains in the frame for Saturday’s Group One Queensland Derby.

Trainer Graham Rogerson ordered a blood count be taken form the filly, in a sign that he may be assessing her fitness ahead of Saturday’s Derby.

“I had the blood count done on her and I’ll get the result of that tonight but there will be no decision made until I see her at trackwork tomorrow.

“I’m leaving the final decision up to her owner Max Whitby, as I also train and bred the favourite for the Derby Shootoff.” Rogerson said.

“I’ve had a long talk with Max and I think he’s now leaning towards running her,” said Rogerson.

The main reason the Scarlett Lady team are reluctant to run their filly in the Derby is that they believe it may take the edge off her and result in her not being as sharp by the time the spring carnival rolls around.

Following her victory in the Oaks, both owner Max Whitby and Rogerson’s co-trainer wife Debbie said that they would prefer to spell the talented filly ahead of the Melbourne spring carnival.

The decision to take Scarlett Lady to Melbourne may be spurred on by the recent success of horses that have run in Queensland Winter and then in the Melbourne spring.

Brew and Yippyio Quineallaed the Brisbane and Melbourne Cups in 2000. Ethereal won the Queensland Oaks and went onto complete the Cups double in 2001. Shocking won a Queensland Derby and went onto win a Melbourne Cup in 2009, while Viewed completed the Brisbane/Melbourne Cup double in 2008.

On the other hand fillies have an excellent recent record in the Queensland Derby. Riva San was able to salute in the 2008 Derby, while Dariana got another one up for the fillies last year.

Despite the fact that she is not a confirmed starter, Scarlett Lady remains favourite for the Derby at $4.60. Rogerson’s other runner Shootoff is also given a strong chance at $4.80.