Rahveel to Book Australasian Oaks Bid in 2012 Fillies Classic

One of the market firmers for Friday night’s Moonee Valley Fillies Classic, Rahveel is out to prove her 2012 Australasian Oaks claims when she takes on a smart field of fellow three-year-olds next-up.

The Zabeel filly, recently purchased by Anthony Mithen’s Rosemont Stud, resumed with a first-up seventh beating home just one other runner in the unsuitably short Group 3 PFD Food Services Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 3.

Her Kyneton-based trainer Leon Corstens is hopeful that with Rahveel stepping up to the mile in the $200,000 Group 2 Fillies Classic (1600m) she will be more competitive.

“She’s a filly with a lot of potential,” Corstens said.

“She’s a typical Zabeel and is going to get better with time.”

While Fillies Classic odds are dominated by last-start Kewney Stakes winner Empress Rock ($3) it seems that Rahveel, out wide in barrier 10 with Damien Oliver, to ride isn’t without her supporters having firmed in from $14 to $13 in the latest markets.

To date Rahveel has won just one of her eight starts taking out a three-year-old maiden over the mile at Bendigo last September.

She has, however, twice raced at the highest level when fifth to Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield back in October before her 20-lengths away eight to the brilliant Mosheen in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Sandwiched in between those two runs was also her second to Atlantic Jewel in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) on Victoria Derby Day.

“They are only three-year-olds once so you do your best to get them into those good races,” Corstens said.

“The gap from the spring to autumn comes too quickly and since we brought her back into work she has definitely grown.”

Corstens is eyeing off a run in the $350,000 Australasian Oaks (2000m), known this year as the 2012 Schweppes Oaks, at Adelaide’s Morphettville Racecourse on April 28 for Rahveel.

“I think she’ll run a really, really good race (on Friday night) but the Australasian Oaks in Adelaide is the race I’ve got in mind for her more than anything,” Corstens said.

The form line for Schweppes Stakes hopefuls coming out of the Fillies Classic is a good one too with the Peter Moody-trained Lights Of Heaven taking out the double last season.

Last year’s Fillies Classic third placegetter Absolutely also went on to run second in the Schweppes Oaks and then win the AJC Australian Oaks.

There is also a chance Rahveel will travel to Queensland for the 2012 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival with the $175,000 Group 3 Doomben Roses (2020m) on May 19 a possible assignment.

As for $400,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2, Corstens remains cautious over her ability to get the distance at this stage.

“I’m not sure she is a mile and a half filly at this stage,” he said.

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