David Vandyke’s odds-on favourite Arabian Gold has been accepted into the 2014 Queensland Oaks field despite still not being a 100% confirmed to run in Saturday’s major.
The in-form Dubawi filly is one of a capacity 18 starters plus five emergencies engaged for this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
She’s also come up trumps with the inside alley, barrier one having produced the most Queensland Oaks winners since 1983 with five.
Blake Shinn is engaged for the ride after guiding her to victory in two of her three lead-up wins including the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 17.
Not only has she the ideal Queensland Oaks barrier, but The Roses has also produced eight of the past 10 Queensland Oaks winners including Scarlett Lady who completed the double in 2011.
However not everything has gone to plan for Arabian Gold who twisted a front plate before trackwork at Eagle Farm on Tuesday morning.
It was a close call for the Oaks favourite, but Vandyke is fairly positive they’ve avoided disaster.
“She had pulled it half off and a couple of nails were in a compromising position,” Vandyke told AAP.
“I was there and we managed to get the shoe off before she did any damage.
“We bandaged her foot and she galloped with no problems.
“She has new shoes on in front and we are optimistic. The farrier is confident there has been no damage.
“I think we have got out of jail.”
Still, if an abscess develops she will be scratched before jump throwing Queensland Oaks betting into disarray.
Second pick for the Oaks win this year is then the Rex Lipp-trained Tinto (barrier six) with Timothy Bell booked to ride the Red Dazzler filly.
She won the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) two back before running second to Arabian Gold in The Roses, a performance jockey Bell is confident she can go one better than with a clearer run over more distance on Saturday.
The Roses third place-getter Tornado Miss is also looking for the chance to atone on the weekend, the daughter of Snitzel trained by last weekend’s Doomben 10,000 winning trainer Tony Gollan.
Before The Roses Tornado Miss was also a credible fourth in the Bracelet run on a Heavy Gold Coast track, and she’s come up with a good gate two draw for Saturday.
The other major player in Queensland Oaks betting meanwhile has drawn horribly with late entry Khutulun out in barrier 22, into 17 of 18 with the emergencies out.
Luke Oliver’s Victorian raider has had just the five runs to date but has finished out of the money just once.
She earned her shot at the Oaks after a brave second to Queensland Derby hope Sonntag over 2000m at Caulfield on May 17 but will need a lot of luck from a barrier no winner has jumped from in the past 30 years.
Also drawing out in the carpark with horror draws are the likes of Tony Pike’s NZ Oaks third placed Rock Diva (23), the Robert Smerdon-trained Every Faith (21) to be ridden by Glen Boss and last start Wagga winner Ring Da Belle (20).
Trainer Robbie Laing meanwhile had a bit of luck getting his two Oaks hopes into calculations as the third and fifth emergencies, but will need even more good fortune if either Falamonte or Savvy Kingstonette get a run in the starting 18 on Saturday.
Other notable Queensland Oaks hopes this year meanwhile include Kris Lees’ Group 2 winning New Zealand import Hera, the David Hayes-trained Group 1 Schweppes Oaks runner-up Star Fashion and Anthony Cummings’ Gold Coast Bracelet second placed Street Cry filly Paris Match.
See below for the full Queensland Oaks 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and set weights.
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2014 Queensland Oaks Final Field & Barrier Draw
Eagle Farm Race 7 – 3:40pm – 31/05/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||146×580111||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||Blake Shinn||1||56.5kg||98|
|2||5644×28812||TINTO||Rex Lipp||Timothy Bell||6||56.5kg||83|
|3||x812121x48||HERA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||5||56.5kg||94|
|4||2266×19422||STAR FASHION||David Hayes||Jeff Lloyd||8||56.5kg||80|
|5||585×901593||EVERY FAITH||Robert Smerdon||Glen Boss||21||56.5kg||79|
|6||4215×05743||TORNADO MISS||Tony Gollan||Craig Newitt||2||56.5kg||76|
|7||14132||KHUTULUN||Luke Oliver||Ben Melham||22||56.5kg||70|
|8||23113×6||ROCK DIVA (NZ)||Tony Pike||Tye Angland||23||56.5kg||83|
|9||75×132742||PARIS MATCH||Anthony Cummings||Nash Rawiller||9||56.5kg||75|
|10||138×5274||RAUNCHY ROCKER||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||14||56.5kg||71|
|11||8623×3121||TERAI||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||10||56.5kg||71|
|12||8344×2130||ASADAUSKAITE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Damian Browne||18||56.5kg||69|
|13||2130×90131||EXECUTE AT DAWN||Desleigh Forster||Michael Cahill||13||56.5kg||69|
|14||x154740280||MOON AND THE STARS||Harold Norman||Rikki Jamieson (a)||15||56.5kg||66|
|15||71125×0924||SISTER SOUSS||John P Thompson||Ryan Wiggins||4||56.5kg||70|
|16||12511||SANCERRE (NZ)||Tony Pike||Vinnie Colgan||11||56.5kg||74|
|17||5215×0231||SNAPCRACKLE (NZ)||David Kelly||TBA||17||56.5kg||67|
|18||33×6181||RING DA BELLE||Paul Murray||Michael Rodd||20||56.5kg||61|
|19e||096×71123||EKOFANIDEA (NZ)||David Kelly||TBA||12||56.5kg||63|
|21e||7174||FALAMONTE (NZ)||Robbie Laing||TBA||3||56.5kg||64|
|22e||1×8455413||SOMERSET LASS||Liam Birchley||TBA||16||56.5kg||60|
|23e||5481||SAVVY KINGSTONETTE (NZ)||Robbie Laing||TBA||7||56.5kg||59|