Saturday week is going to be the biggest day the South Australian Jockey Club has ever hosted with Black Caviar coming to town, but there is more than just Black Caviar on the menu at Morphettville with the 2012 Schweppes Australasian Oaks also running.
The world’s highest rated mare Black Caviar has been nominated along with 26 other hopefuls for the $400,000 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) on April 28, the day’s other elite level feature and the marquee event being the $400,000 Group 1 Schweppes Australasian Oaks (2000m).
The Australasian Oaks 2012 attracted 28 three-year-old fillies at nomination stage, the race having produced many a turf star over the years.
Last year’s edition was won by one-time Caulfield Cup fancy Lights Of Heaven, prepared by Black Caviar’s trainer Peter Moody.
Lights Of Heaven won the Schweppes Oaks at just her fourth career start and was undefeated going into the race, but it was runner-up Absolutely and the third placed Southern Speed who would go onto win at elite level in the Australian Oaks in Sydney and the Caulfield Cup during the Melbourne Spring Carnival respectively.
This year Moody will seek another win in the classic with My Girl Tess, the lightly-raced daughter of Redoute’s Choice having broken her maiden status with a win at Cranbourne last week.
Meanwhile Bart Cummings’ smart Fastnet Rock filly Empress Rock will shoot for the same Moonee Valley Fillies Classic – Schweppes Oaks double Lights Of Heaven won 12 months ago.
One of the key lead-up races to the Schweppes Oaks is always the Group 3 Schweppervescence Stakes (1800m) which was held at Morphettville last Saturday.
Fillies set to back-up from the Schweppervescence Stakes in the Oaks include the winning filly Crucial, runner-up Rahveel for Leon Corstens, and third placed Crimson Lady prepared by Flemington trainer Michael Moroney.
Crucial is one of two hopefuls in the early entries for Mornington-based horseman Anthony Freedman along with his Zabeel filly Crystalised, while Moroney has also nominated for Savabeel filly Savvy Princess.
Also with multiple entries are Michael Kent with MV Fillies Classic third placed Our Miss Jones and Pentimento; Mark Kavanagh with Alessandra and Rock Culture; and Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra with three entries in Secret Liaison coming off a good third in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick last Saturday, Sharnee Rose and Spelldancer.
Other notable Australasian Oaks nominees this year include multiple Group winning Pert filly Bliss Street out to improve on her 10th in the Schweppervescence, the Robert Smerdon-trained Caulfield winner last time out Red Typhoon and highly-rated New Zealand filly Kasumi last seen running fourth in the Adelaide Guineas.
See below for the full 2012 Schweppes Australasian Oaks nominations, the final field to be released next week.
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2012 Schweppes Australasian Oaks Nominations
Morphettville – 28/04/2012
|2||BLISS STREET||Daniel Morton||91|
|3||CLASSIC ELLE||Tony Vasil||74|
|4||CRIMSON LADY (NZ)||Michael Moroney||69|
|6||CRYSTALISED (NZ)||Anthony Freedman||62|
|8||EMPRESS ROCK||Bart Cummings||95|
|10||FRIDAY HUSSY||David Hayes||70|
|14||KASUMI (NZ)||John Sargent||75|
|16||MY GIRL TESS||Peter G Moody||62|
|17||OUR MISS JONES (NZ)||Michael Kent||70|
|19||PRINCESS ROCK||Darren Weir||65|
|20||QUICK RETORT||Stephen Theodore||63|
|22||RED TYPHOON||Robert Smerdon||68|
|23||ROCK CULTURE||Mark Kavanagh||74|
|24||SAVVY PRINCESS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||62|
|25||SECRET LIAISON||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||79|
|26||SHARNEE ROSE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||78|
|27||SPELLDANCER||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||67|
|28||TEMPER TANTRUM||Alex Macpherson||70|