A strong performance at Caulfield this weekend has been identified as the telling factor in whether or not trainer Luke Oliver will send classy filly Khutulun on a trip north to contest the featured Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) on May 31st.
Contesting a strong and impressive four race career so far, Oliver told AAP the Soldier’s Tale filly would have to finish in notable position to warrant the $11,550 late entry fee garnered by the Queensland Oaks.
“She would definitely have to run top three but certainly if she ran well we’ll consider it” Oliver said.
“So we get to run on Saturday and get to see how she pulls and we can decide whether we go there” Oliver added of the Wednesday cut-off for late entries.
Debuting with an impressive turn of foot to win the Visitmacedonranges.com Maiden (1212m) on March 21st, Khutulun was unlucky to finish fourth when blocked for a run in the Polytrack Fillies (1600m) on April 9th, but returned to the winner’s circle when beating a talented field to the line in the Routleys Bakery Fillies (1600m).
Running on to finish third in the LU Simon Builders Handicap (2000m) last time out, Khutulun is one of two major chances of success for Oliver this weekend, who will also saddle leading chance Jesse Belle in the Scone Guineas (1400m).
Confirmed to wear blinkers competitively for this first time in the Scone Guineas, Oliver has been thrilled with the form and class shown by Jesse Belle since finishing second in the Vafa Plate last time out, particularly in taking to work in the reverse way of going.
“This race has been our goal all preparation and we’ll only hit it third up and we’ve put the winkers on just to make her a little bit sharper” Oliver said.
“The last three or four weeks she has been galloping the reverse way at Caulfield. It feels like she’s a pretty adaptable horse so she’s ready to go up there and run well.”
Claiming an impressive record of three wins and four places from just eight competitive starts to date, Jessy Belle has quickly stamped her claims as one to watch over major fillies events throughout the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
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