Royal Descent Confirmed for 2013 Australian Oaks

Chris Waller has elected to back up Saturday’s Adrian Knox Stakes winner Royal Descent in this weekend’s Group 1 2013 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.

Royal Descent is a confirmed Oaks starter. Photo: Steve Hart.

Waller remained uncertain following Saturday’s assertive victory but said the opportunity, with the horse in form, was too good to pass up.

“It is a Group 1 race against your own age group and they don’t come around very often,” Waller told TVN.

The leading Sydney trainer said the short turnaround was a more logical option than trying to stop and rebuild for a shot at the Queensland Oaks during the winter.

“She is fit and we know she is in form, it is just whether she can handle the seven-day turnaround,” he said.

A consistent filly by Redoute’s Choice, Royal Descent has not finished worse than fourth in six starts since debuting in December.

She has won three times but Saturday’s victory was by far the biggest of her short career.

Royal Descent dominated the Group 3 event, clearly appreciating a rise in distance (2000m), to kick well clear of her rivals and win by 2 1/2 lengths.

Prior to that she was second in the Group 3 Keith Nolan Classic and fourth in the Group 2 Surround Stakes.

Despite her inexperience, Royal Descent is among the top fancies for the Oaks along with New Zealand filly Habibi and Crown Oaks winner Dear Demi.

Habibi is set to start as favourite after showing her strength at the distance last month to win the New Zealand Derby.

She is expected to have improved from her Australian debut where she was third to Norzita and Longport in the Vinery Stud Stakes.

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