NZ Derby Winner Habibi 2013 Australian Oaks Bound

Connections of New Zealand Derby winner Habibi have opted not to back up the smart filly in the NZ Oaks in Trentham this weekend but head to Australia instead and target the big Oaks races down under likely starting with theAustralian Oaks 2013 in Sydney next month.

Ekraar filly Habibi has won six of her seven career starts to date most recently seen taking out the Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 2 and is now eyeing more Group glory during an upcoming autumn – winter preparation in Australia.

“We’re thinking of either Sydney or Brisbane, but we’re leaning towards Sydney as going to Brisbane can make it difficult to have a spring campaign,” Ruakaka-based co-trainer Dean Logan said.

Logan said they were looking at a two start prep in Sydney starting with the $400,000 Group 1 Storm Queen Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on Golden Slipper Day, April 6.

Her other major aim would then be the $550,000 Group 1 ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 20, Doncaster Handicap Day, where a clash with Clarry Conners’ Crown Oaks champ Dear Demi awaits.

Dehere filly Dear Demi returned at Rosehill on February 16 when third in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1400m) improving on that run last Saturday at Warwick Farm beating home Driefontein in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m).

Connections of Habibi are confident her New Zealand form will stack up when she takes on the fillies in Oz but are still weary of the class of Dear Demi.

“Dear Demi looks like a very good filly but the New Zealand form usually measures up, especially the fillies,” Logan said.

If Habibi doesn’t show enough to warrant the above campaign then plans will be changed and she would travel instead to Queensland later in the year for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival where a shot at the $400,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 1 would be on the cards.

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