It seems the odds-on favourite Streama has scared away most of the competition for the 2012 ATC Australian Oaks on Saturday with just seven other three-year-old fillies accepting for the Royal Randwick classic.
One of three elite levels headlining a bumper Doncaster Mile Day line-up the $550,000 Group 1 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) is scheduled to run at 2:16pm as Randwick Race 5.
Pronounced favourite and the definite filly to beat in the eight-horse Australian Oaks field this year is the Guy Walter-trained daughter of Stratum Streama.
The last time Streama raced at Randwick she put six and a half lengths on her closest rival to win the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) last October.
This season she has been racing competitively once again most recently crossing just a half-length off the sensational Mosheen in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).
She goes to the 2400-metres for the first time on Saturday and all indicators are that Streama, in barrier six with Hugh Bowman aboard, will handle the distance.
The likely Heavy rated track is also a non-issue for the talented filly as she has run and won on a Slow (6) in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick farm last month and also on a Heavy (9) at Randwick over 1200-metres in the Listed Keith Mackay this time last year.
Streama’s other look at a Heavy (9) track was another crack run when she finished a close first-up third in the Group 3 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) last August.
Walter has also accepted for his Adrian Knox fourth placed Lightens who drew barrier two with Kerrin McEvoy booked for the ride, and Danzero filly Colourist a Kathy O’Hara mount to start from the inside alley, as he shoots for the Australian Oaks Trifecta.
So is there a filly that can challenge Streama on Saturday?
The next-best fancied when the new Australian Oaks odds are released at bookmaker.com.au is sure to be Roger James’ Kiwi filly Full Of Spirit in barrier three with ace New Zealand hoop James McDonald in the saddle.
The daughter of Flying Spur earned a late entry into the Oaks after she scored a good win in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at the track in her Australian debut last Saturday and Cambridge-based James hopes she can repay the faith of connections.
“She has always shown us a lot of talent but hasn’t been able to put it together on the track,” James said.
“I can’t say I was surprised by her win on Saturday but she wasn’t the No.2 pick (of my three-year-olds behind Silent Achiever).
“I think she can improve again in the Oaks and she is the type of filly that is coming right at the right time.”
While confident he has the right hoop in McDonald in the saddle, James said it was a myth that all Kiwi horses liked the wet and he hoped for a slightly firmer track than predicted on Saturday.
“James has been able to do a couple of things I wanted done with the filly,” he said.
“She can be a bit difficult and he knows her.
“Everyone seems to think that because these horses come from New Zealand they are wet trackers.”
The other more notable Australian Oaks hopefuls are the David Hayes-trained Tasmanian Oaks winner Rock Robster in eight with Craig Williams to ride, Kerry Parker’s Vinery Stud Stakes third placegetter Aliyana Tilde and the Peter Moody-trained Thy who ran fourth in the Vinery.
The final filly in the feature is then Clarry Conners’ Choisir filly Suzanne who was outclassed when ninth to Full Of Spirit in the Adrian Knox last time out.
See below for the full 2012 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks final field and barrier draw.
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2012 Australian Oaks Field, Barriers & Jockeys
Royal Randwick Race 5 – 2:16pm – 21/04/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||X3111X2152||STREAMA||Guy Walter||Hugh Bowman||6||56kg||108|
|2||147743211||FULL OF SPIRIT||Roger James||James McDonald||3||56kg||–|
|3||5X78431102||ROCK ROBSTER||David Hayes||Craig Williams||8||56kg||–|
|4||69X1425133||ALIYANA TILDE||Kerry Parker||Blake Shinn||4||56kg||69|
|5||42X4134||THY (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||5||56kg||–|
|6||248X172644||LIGHTENS||Guy Walter||Kerrin McEvoy||2||56kg||–|
|8||4X485X2160||COLOURIST||Guy Walter||Ms Kathy O’Hara||1||56kg||–|