David Vandyke’s star filly Arabian Gold has retained favouritism for Saturday’s Queensland Oaks 2014 after coming up trumps with barrier one for the Eagle Farm feature.
Earlier doubts about whether the daughter of Dubawi would indeed line-up in the $400,000 Group 1 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) are starting to drop away.
Recent comments from her trainer Vandyke indicate that her shoe mishap on Tuesday morning hasn’t impacted her work leading up to the Oaks and that she was a 99% chance of running and running well.
She’s after her fourth win on the trot, and her second straight in the Sunshine State after easily accounting for a similar field in the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben last time out.
The Roses has been the form line to following going into the Queensland Oaks in recent years, and barrier one is the key starting position having produced five winners since 1983.
Arabian Gold, also a first acceptor for Saturday week’s $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) up against the boys along with six other Oaks hopes, has held top spot for the weekend paying $2.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au to break her Group 1 maiden.
She’s joined at single-figures in Queensland Oaks betting then by only two other fillies despite the bumper 18-starter, five-emergency field.
Second favourite at $7.50 is Tinto in barrier six, their jockey Tim Bell eager for the rematch after their luckless second when bumped by Arabian Gold during The Roses.
They were beaten just over a length that day after jumping from barrier 12, but from a better gate with a clearer run getting up over the mile and a half Bell rates his filly the one to beat.
He was also aboard Rex Lipp’s Toowoomba-trained daughter of Red Dazzler two back on the Gold Coast for her Black Type Bracelet win and believes she can return to winning form here.
Hot on her heels at $8 is then Rock Diva who will need to be at her best after drawing the ‘visitor’s gate’.
She’ll jump from 18 of 18 on Saturday but is still considered a genuine danger, Tony Pike’s New Zealand-trained Lucky Unicorn having her second Australian start.
Third behind Miss Mossman in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) back in March, getting back up over that distance is set to suit Rock Diva following her credible sixth in The Roses over 2000m.
Just outside the top three at more generous odds are then a host of other fillies with claims for an upset Queensland Oaks result.
Some of these that could represent good value on race day include late entry Khutulun ($10) in the second widest gate, Anthony Cummings’ Street Cry filly Paris Match ($14) last seen running second to Tinto in the Bracelet, the Gai Waterhouse-trained improver Raunchy Rocker ($15) and Pike’s other runner Sanceree ($16) coming off back-to-back Queensland wins.
See below for the full Queensland Oaks 2014 odds, fixed win prices open now to Ladbrokes.com.au customers.
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