A collection of 2013 Crown Oaks hopes will first face off on Victoria Derby Day this weekend including futures favourite May’s Dream in the $300,000 Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m).
One of the bumper nine Group races running at Flemington on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival this Saturday, the 2013 Wakeful Stakes is the final traditional lead-up for three-year-old fillies heading towards a run in the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) back at the track Thursday week, November 7.
Heading the 15 Wakeful Stakes nominations this year is clear Crown Oaks betting favourite May’s Dream ($3).
The Darren Weir-trained daughter of New Approach has won two from five to date and was last seen running a brave second to Peter Snowden’s star filly Guelph in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) on October 16.
Saturday will be May’s Dream first look at further than a mile, something common to the majority of Wakeful entries.
The next shortest-priced Crown Oaks hope nominated for Saturday’s showdown is then the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra co-trained Solicit ($9.50).
A winner of back-to-back races in September, the Street Cry filly has run top three in her two most recent outings against good company.
The first was a third in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 5 behind Se Sauver when ridden by Melbourne Cup winning jockey Brett Prebble.
The other, her most recent run, was on Caulfield Cup Day when a half length second to Arabian Gold in the Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m).
David Vandyke’s Ethereal Stakes winner Arabian Gold and the John O’Shea-trained Gypsy Diamond are then paying $12 in the latest Crown Oaks odds and will get their chance to shorten in the markets if accepted for the Wakeful.
Not A Single Doubt filly Gypsy Diamond ran a distant sixth in the Thousand Guineas beaten seven lengths but showed improvement at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
There she scored an upset win as a $14 shot defeating Thousand Guineas third placegetter Gregers in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (1600m), form she will now look to bring to Flemington.
“She’s thrived since she’s been in Melbourne,” O’Shea told The Australian this week.
“She was very strong to the line, so she’s got a nice profile going to the Wakeful.”
Looking further ahead to the Oaks jockey James McDonald, who rode her in the Fillies Classic, is confident she’ll be competitive over the distance.
“From when we started educating her, she was always going to be our Oaks filly,” McDonald said.
“John has set her for one race and she’s peaking at the right time.”
Other notable Crown Oaks nominees also entered for the lead-up on Derby Day then include the Clarry Conners-trained Ethereal Stakes third placed Refer ($12), David Hayes’ Edward Manifold Stakes runner-up Star Fashion ($12), Melaleuca ($13) who ran fourth in the Ethereal Stakes and Thousand Guineas fourth placegetter Wordplay ($14).
See below for the complete Wakeful Stakes 2013 nominations.
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2013 Wakeful Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 02/11/2013
|1||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||82|
|3||EVERY FAITH||Robert Smerdon||64|
|5||GYPSY DIAMOND||John O’Shea||89|
|6||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||74|
|7||MAY’S DREAM||Darren Weir||91|
|8||MELALEUCA||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||64|
|9||PERFECT COMPANY||Greg Eurell||–|
|11||SAVANNAH MOON||Rod Symons||–|
|12||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||75|
|13||STAR FASHION||David Hayes||77|
|14||TEAR GAS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||62|