An exciting line-up of local, interstate and internationally-trained fillies have been accepted for this Saturday’s 2013 Australian Oaks field, the classic to run at Royal Randwick as part of the elite Doncaster Mile Day action.
Due to run as Randwick Race 7 at 3:35pm (AEST) this year’s $550,000 Group 1 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) has drawn a final field of 11 acceptors with the early favourite being New Zealand-trained visitor Habibi.
Drawn to perfection in barrier three with their regular rider Vinnie Colgan booked for the ride the Donna Logan-trained Ekraar filly was the big winner of the NZ Derby over the mile and a half back in March before travelling down under to run the perfect ATC Oaks trial when third to Norzita in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day.
“I respect the whole field,” Logan said of Habibi’s Australian Oaks rivals.
“This won’t be an easy race but I’m happy with where we’re at.”
The other Kiwi raider in the Australian Oaks mix for 2013 is then New Zealand Oaks winner More Than Sacred prepared by Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue.
More Than Sacred earned her trip across the Tasman after taking out the Sunline Vase – NZ Oaks double at her two most recent runs and will battle it out with New Zealand’s other star staying filly having drawn one inside of Habibi in gate two for Saturday.
Early Australian Oaks betting markets have had Habibi sitting in top spot followed closely by the likes of Royal Descent and Dear Demi.
The Chris Waller-trained Royal Descent (barrier nine) backs up this weekend just seven days after posting a solid 2.5 length victory in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at the track on Australian Derby Day, Nash Rawiller retaining the ride.
It is an imposing hoodoo facing Royal Descent too however as no Australian Oaks winner in the modern era has done so in the first preparation, Saturday to be just her seventh career starts since a debut win at Canterbury back in December.
“She’s a really good horse, and be it this Saturday or next preparation, she will be a horse people talk about,” Waller said.
“Not many have been given the opportunity (to win the Oaks in their first campaign), but a lot of horses wouldn’t have been good enough to try it.”
Waller will also be represented in the ATC Oaks field this weekend by Wind Bender in gate four with Tommy Berry to ride, the three-year-old coming off a fifth to their stablemate in the Adrian Knox Stakes.
Clarry Conners’ Dehere filly Dear Demi (pictured) meanwhile will be out to improve on her fifth in the Vinery Stud Stakes which she should be able to do with more distance as she looks to become the 14th filly in history to complete the Crown Oaks – Australian Oaks double.
Other notable chances then include John Thompson’s brave Vinery Stud Stakes runner-up Longport and Peter Snowden’s recent Keith Nolen Classic winner Cameo who failed when 13th (of 14) in the Vinery last time out on the Slow (7) track.
Check out the official 2013 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks field, barriers, jockeys and weights in the table below.
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2013 Australian Oaks Final Field & Barrier Draw
Royal Randwick Race 7 – 3:35pm (AEST) – 20/04/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||43241×3105||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||6||56kg||105|
|2||11111313||HABIBI (NZ)||Donna Logan||Vinnie Colgan||3||56kg||100|
|3||19124×8302||LONGPORT||John P Thompson||Christian Reith||7||56kg||100|
|4||113421||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||9||56kg||88|
|5||7×661311||MORE THAN SACRED||Tony Pike||Leith Innes||2||56kg||–|
|6||51146×5810||CAMEO||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||11||56kg||85|
|7||123×437||SUMMERBLISS||Michael Kent||Hugh Bowman||8||56kg||81|
|8||753957×714||GONDOKORO (NZ)||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||5||56kg||76|
|9||33x531x375||WIND BENDER||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||4||56kg||67|
|10||36×3541350||SHE’S A GIRL||Steve Englebrecht||Nathan Berry||1||56kg||66|
|11||1599×40584||ZUCCOTTO||Guy Walter||Blake Shinn||10||56kg||56|