Nicely-bred Zabeel filly Zydeco is the dominant favourite to win the VRC Crown Oaks 2012 at Flemington next month following the release of the first acceptances for the three-year-old fillies’ feature.
The Anthony Freedman-trained Zydeco earned top spot in the markets for the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m), running on Thursday November 8, after her third to Commanding Jewel and Dear Demi in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) last time out.
While Freedman himself doesn’t boast a Crown Oaks trophy he did play an important part in helping deliver his brother Lee with his four Oaks winners with Northwood Plume (1994), Kensington Palace (1997), Special Harmony (2003) and most recently Serenade Rose (2005).
Freedman has also accepted for Red Ransom filly Kazanluk, last seen running third in the Listed Morphettville Guineas (1600m) in Adelaide, who is also nominated for Friday night’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (1600m).
Originally 74 fillies made up the Crown Oaks nominations but there are now just 21 hopefuls still in contention after first declarations were taken by Racing Victoria.
Other Early 2012 Crown Oaks Fancies among the First Acceptors Include:
- Dear Demi (Clarry Conners) – Dehere filly has run third in her past two starts both at Group 1 level firstly behind Norzita in the Flight Stakes and then to Commanding Jewel in the Thousand Guineas out to hand Conners with his third Crown Oaks title adding to those he won with Research (1988) and Arborea (1993)
- Summerbliss (Michael Kent) – Promising daughter of Danehill Dancer won on debut at Ballarat before finishing second in the Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day
- Zuccotto (Guy Walter) – Broke their maiden status at start number three at Canberra last month, yet to see stakes company or further than 1524m but is bred for the distance being by Quest For Fame out of a Zabeel mare La Zabaglione
- Alzora (David Hayes) – Ethereal Stakes winner improved leaps and bounds on her Edward Manifold Stakes 13th, improving as she goes up in distance, one of three entries for Hayes along with Mama’s Choice and Maraatib as the Hall Of Famer seeks another Crown Oaks following the success of Miss Finland (2006)
- Tyanna (Robbie Griffiths) – In-form Cranbourne galloper owned by OTI has won back-to-back races at Bendigo, needs to make the grade at Flemington however
- Ten Black (Matthew Hyland) – Was disappointing in the Ethereal Stakes when ninth but before that had an easy win over 1907m at Kilmore, distance not the problem but might not be classy enough
- Kate (Wayne Hills) – New Zealand visitor yet to impress down under when 10th in the Edward Manifold and 8th in the Ethereal Stakes
Also worth noting are the three entries for Michael Moroney, who prepared 2010 Crown Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse, the most notable of which is Zabeel filly La Zuma looking to bounce back after her distant 13th in the Thousand Guineas.
The big name omissions from the 2012 Crown Oaks first acceptances meanwhile are the Greg Eurell-trained Love For Ransom who will race in Friday night’s 2012 Fillies Classic instead, Adelaide filly Molto Bene who ran a disappointing 10th in the Thousand Guineas, and Bart Cummings’ Flight Stakes winner Norzita who has been sent to the paddock.
Notable Non-Acceptors at First Declaration Stage for Crown Oaks:
- Love For Ransom (Greg Eurell)
- Molto Bene (Will Clarken)
- Norzita (Bart Cummings)
- Duet (Bart Cummings)
- Proper Madam (Jason Warren)
- Jade Marauder (Chris Waller)
- Twilight Granita (Murray Baker)
- Vaquera (Gai Waterhouse)
- Balaclava Lady (Nigel Blackiston)
The 2012 Crown Oaks Final Field and Barrier Draw are due for release on Monday November 5, 2012 with Races.com.au to publish the full list of acceptors and gates.
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2012 Crown Oaks First Acceptances & Ballot
Flemington Racecourse – 08/11/2012
|2||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||1||55.5kg|
|3||DONNA CATTIVA (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||5||55.5kg|
|4||FINNEGAN BEGINEGAN||Paul Banks||19||55.5kg|
|5||GONDOKORO (NZ)||Pat Carey||18||55.5kg|
|6||IRELAND’S TEARDROP||Anthony Cummings||8||55.5kg|
|7||KATE (NZ)||Wayne Hillis||12||55.5kg|
|9||LA ZUMA||Michael Moroney||15||55.5kg|
|10||MADAM ARCHER||Robbie Griffiths||14||55.5kg|
|11||MAMA’S CHOICE||David Hayes||3||55.5kg|
|13||REAL STOLLE||John P Thompson||2||55.5kg|
|14||SAUV BLANC BABE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||20=||55.5kg|
|16||SUNSET MAGIC (NZ)||Michael Moroney||20=||55.5kg|
|17||TEN BLACK||Matthew Hyland||17||55.5kg|
|18||TRANSONIC||John P Thompson||7||55.5kg|