A capacity field of 18 horses and five emergencies has been named for Saturday’s Group 1 $400,000 2012 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
There is a real New Zealand flavour to the field and one of the favourites to take out the feature for three-year-old fillies is Shaune Ritchie-trained Miss Artistic.
The daughter of Darci Brahma has drawn barrier 12 and will be out to score her first victory on Australian soil after showing promise in two lead-up races.
Miss Artistic came to Australia with plenty of hype after winning the New Zealand Oaks and has recorded finishes of fourth and second since arriving for the Winter Carnival.
The job of scoring a third consecutive victory has become difficult for Invest after the in-form filly drew barrier 22.
Trained by Clarry Connors, the daughter of Dehere has been in sensational form of late, backing up her Group 1 Schweppes Oaks win at Morphetville by taking out the Group 3 Roses ahead of Miss Artistic.
Gold Coast Bracelet winner Scorpio Queen came third in the Roses and will again be one of the main chances after drawing reasonably in barrier nine.
Leading New Zealand trainer John Sargent will be relieved that his filly Quintessential has drawn the inside barrier after producing solid fourth-place finishes despite poor barrier draws in her last two starts.
Another New Zealand filly who gets a chance to convert her recent place-finishes into victory this weekend is Howard Matthews-trained Poste Restante.
The consistent three-year-old backed up a second to the highly-rated Malandrino in the Manawatu Classic with her first run in Australia that saw her finish just 0.2 of a length behind winner Brambles when third in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate.
A daughter of Postponed, Poste Restante has drawn a reasonable barrier 11 position and will have talented New Zealand jockey James McDonald in the saddle.
Other horses set to line up in the Queensland Oaks include Gerald Ryan-trained Angel Of Mercy and last-start winners Love Excels and Rock Hit.
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Queensland Oaks 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|1||0X90332411||INVEST||Clarry Conners||Peter Mertens||22||56.5kg|
|2||232596X640||DOWAGER QUEEN (NZ)||Lee Freedman & Graeme Rogerson||Glyn Schofield||5||56.5kg|
|3||1444351142||MISS ARTISTIC (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||Chris Munce||12||56.5kg|
|4||X215376116||ANGEL OF MERCY||Gerald Ryan||Corey Brown||10||56.5kg|
|5||X0X211X613||SCORPIO QUEEN||Chris Waller||TBA||9||56.5kg|
|6||851X391481||RED TYPHOON||Robert Smerdon||Nash Rawiller||14||56.5kg|
|7||313211X507||PRETTY PINS (NZ)||John P Thompson||Michael Cahill||21||56.5kg|
|8||1X21133344||QUINTESSENTIAL (NZ)||John Sargent||Damian Browne||1||56.5kg|
|9||X5211X3019||ANGELUS||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||23||56.5kg|
|10||77044X7925||VITTORIA (NZ)||Michael Kent||Damien Oliver||8||56.5kg|
|11||6732153423||POSTE RESTANTE (NZ)||Howard Mathews||James McDonald||11||56.5kg|
|12||X148102208||ROCKSAN||Toby Edmonds||Jeff Lloyd||6||56.5kg|
|13||0110150360||TYCOON’S HEART||David Kelly||Timothy Bell (a)||18||56.5kg|
|14||929X711745||ELIZA BLUES (NZ)||Chris Waller||TBA||2||56.5kg|
|15||62231X3770||URBAN ROCKER||Chris Waller||TBA||3||56.5kg|
|16||3122021||ROCK HIT||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||15||56.5kg|
|17||X446111330||ANAGOLD||Bryan Guy||Michael Rodd||19||56.5kg|
|18||21||LOVE EXCELS||Tim Martin||Hugh Bowman||16||56.5kg|
|19e||5154113||TUSKEGEE HAWK||Len Treloar||Larry Cassidy||17||56.5kg|
|20e||3X5151||HULA LUA (NZ)||Michael Kent||TBA||7||56.5kg|
|21e||3313404||CRYSTALISED (NZ)||Anthony Freedman||TBA||4||56.5kg|
|23e||52614X5042||GRAB THE LOOT||Darryl Gollan||Jason Taylor||20||56.5kg|