All the excitement at the moment is about the 2012 Melbourne Cup but quality racing goes on all week with Thursday’s highlight being the Group 1 2012 Crown Oaks (2500m).
The best staying fillies in the country will line up to contest the $1 million event which features a quality 16-horse field.
Heading the group of emerging stars is the Anthony Freedman-trained Zydeco who cemented herself as Oaks favourite with a dominant Wakeful Stakes win on the weekend.
The daughter of Zabeel showed her staying ability when ridden quietly by Kerrin McEvoy before exploding down the outside to beat home her rivals by two lengths.
McEvoy was quick to endorse the emerging stayer as an Oaks contender following the win on Saturday.
“I was able just to get back and relax. When I got to the outside she really picked up and had a trouble free run,” McEvoy said.
“It’s good signs going into next week over 2500m in the Oaks.
“Hopefully we can do the same next Thursday.”
Oaks minor placegetters Maraatib and Transonic will be out turn the tables on Zydeco in Thursday’s feature race.
David Hayes-trained filly Maraatib is still a maiden but has improved with each step up in distance and has finished in the top three in her past four starts.
Transonic has also been a consistent performer, having finished in the top three in her eight most recent starts.
Dear Demi was considered the most capable of upsetting Zydeco prior to the Wakeful but suffered no luck in running and was blocked for a run on a number of occasions on her way to fourth place.
The consistent filly won at Group 2 level in the Furious Stakes earlier in the spring and is likely to be among the top contenders on Thursday.
Others in the Oaks field include New Zealand filly Kate, Guy Walter’s Zucotto and the lightly-raced Summerbliss.
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Crown Oaks 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||212×314324||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||12||55.5kg||95|
|2||61531||ZYDECO||Anthony Freedman||Kerrin McEvoy||7||55.5kg||93|
|3||170×34406||MAMA’S CHOICE||David Hayes||Damien Oliver||2||55.5kg||72|
|4||4x438x3401||ALZORA||David Hayes||Nicholas Hall||5||55.5kg||74|
|5||7522231133||TRANSONIC||John P Thompson||Mark Zahra||6||55.5kg||72|
|6||235×252322||MARAATIB||David Hayes||Michael Walker||3||55.5kg||72|
|7||58542164||IRELAND’S TEARDROP||Anthony Cummings||Vlad Duric||13||55.5kg||64|
|8||12||SUMMERBLISS||Michael Kent||Craig Williams||1||55.5kg||70|
|9||370×116085||KATE (NZ)||Wayne Hillis||James McDonald||14||55.5kg||66|
|10||3×586110||TYANNA||Robbie Griffiths||Michael Rodd||11||55.5kg||66|
|11||1507||LA ZUMA||Michael Moroney||Corey Brown||9||55.5kg||62|
|12||9×6159||ZUCCOTTO||Guy Walter||Hugh Bowman||4||55.5kg||61|
|13||50×6190||TEN BLACK||Matthew Hyland||Luke Nolen||10||55.5kg||62|
|14||0x75395||GONDOKORO (NZ)||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||8||55.5kg||61|
|15||502||FINNEGAN BEGINEGAN||Paul Banks||Craig Newitt||15||55.5kg||58|