Queensland Oaks winner Scarlett Lady will be not be entered in the Group One Queensland Derby after trainer Graham Rogerson confirmed that the filly would return to New Zealand ahead of a spring campaign.
Scarlett Lady sat atop the order of entry for the Queensland Derby, and was favourite for the race, however Rogerson and owner Max Whitby decided it would be in the horse’s best interest to miss the Derby.
“We decided in the best interest of the filly that we are not going to run her.
“We thought that if she had a gut buster it would affect her spring campaign, and it’s looking like it may rain on Saturday, so we’ve decided to put the filly first and she won’t be running.” Rogerson said.
Rogerson, who co-trains Scarlett Lady along with his wife Debbie confirmed that Scarlett Lady would fly back to New Zealand and be prepared for the spring carnival
Rogerson, who has had some great horses in his time including Cox Plate winner Savabeel and Golden Slipper winner Polar Success, believes Scarlett Lady is right up there with the best he’s trained.
“I think she’s right up there with the very best that I’ve trained.
“She won effortlessly in the Oaks. She still had a couple of gears left. We know that she certainly can stay, she won within herself.” Rogerson said.
Rogerson also confirmed that following a spell, Scarlett Lady would more than likely return in the 1400m weight for age Mudgway Stakes in New Zealand before coming to Australia.
Rogerson said that he would target the filly at the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley and the Yalumba Stakes, before tackling the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. He also said that races in Hong Kong and Japan were also on his radar for the talented filly.
Now that Scarlett Lady has been declared as a definite non-runner, Rogerson’s other entry, Shootoff will be outright favourite for the race, a tag Rogerson believes the horse deserves.
“Shootoff is the one they have to beat. He was very good in the Doomben Cup against the older horses and I think he is a deserved favourite here. He looks absolutely sensational.” Rogerson said.
Rogerson also said that Shootoff would be ridden close to the pace in the Derby, and that a wet track would be in his favour.
Shootoff demolished a strong field in the Frank Packer Plate at his last start on a Heavy track.