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Prominent New Zealand-based horseman Graeme Rogerson has confirmed plays to skip next Wednesday’s Thousand Guineas with his progressive filly Dowager Queen and head towards the 2011 VRC Crown Oaks during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Originally also considering a 2011 Cox Plate bid with the Savabeel three-year-old, Rogerson made the decision to keep Dowager Queen to the fillies-only races during the spring carnival.
“The Cox Plate was tempting and we gave it a fair bit of thought,” Rogerson said.
“In the end we decided to the fillies races was the best way to go and we can’t wait to get her over the longer distances.”
A winner of four of her 14 career starts to date, Dowager Queen had her first Australian campaign during the winter when she ran fourth in both the Group 2 BTC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 TJ Smith (1600m) at Eagle Farm in June.
After a first-up win back home in New Zealand on September 3, Dowager Queen made the trip across the Tasman again and ran a credible sixth to Streama in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1500m).
Last Saturday she impressed Rogerson and was competitive when overcoming a wide barrier draw to run third to Streama in the Group 1 Flight Stakes over the Randwick mile.
While the performance was not enough to convince Rogerson Dowager Queen was ready to tackle the $3 million Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22, he did see enough to suggest she could be competitive in the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) against her own age and sex at Flemington on Thursday November 3.
“She went super,” Rogerson said of Dowager Queen in the Flight Stakes.
“She ran the fastest last 400 metres in the race and I couldn’t be any happier with her.”
With the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield next Wednesday now off the agenda, Rogerson plans to run Dowager Queen next-up in the $100,000 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day Saturday week instead.
Her final Crown Oaks lead-up will then be in the $300,000 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday October 29, the race last year’s Crown Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse took out on way to her Group 1 success.
In the futures 2011 Crown Oaks odds open now at Luxbet, Dowager Queen is rated the $8 third favourite behind Mark Kavanagh’s undefeated filly Atlantic Jewel ($4.40) and the Robert Smerdon-trained Edward Manifold Stakes winner Mosheen ($5).
View the complete Crown Oaks betting options at Luxbet now for juicy futures betting before first declarations are taken on October 18.
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