After the dust settles from the 2014 Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, punters and racing enthusiasts don’t have long to wait for another exciting Flemington Group One race.
The Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) is the feature race on Thursday, offering some mid-week action during Melbourne Cup week.
A field of 12 classy three-year-old fillies are due to contest the race, led by Go Indy Go.
The Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas-trained filly is set to jump from barrier five with Chad Schofield in the saddle.
Go Indo Go had a very impressive autumn racing campaign which included a win in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) on April 26. However after four months off the filly has failed to recreate this success in the spring.
The filly finished dead last in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) her first time up after getting under pressure from the near at the jump. She never got hot and finished a long way behind the winner (26 lengths).
Go Indy Go returned two weeks later for a minor placing in the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) in which she hit the line much better and was more true to her form. However she couldn’t re-create this solid run in the Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) after jumping awkwardly again. She had too much work to do and could not make up the ground, finishing end of the field in seventh.
She capped off a busy season with another minor placing, this time in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m). Will a step up in distance to 2500m prove successful for Go Indy Go? It wasn’t too long ago she was blazing the track at Morphettville in her first season.
She faces some tough competition in the 2014 Crown Oaks field including the Robert Smerdon triple threat – Fontein Ruby, Crafty, and Lumosty.
Fontein Ruby will jump from the middle of the field in barrier six with regular rider Mark Zahra in the saddle once again. The filly enjoyed back-to-back wins in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) last month but couldn’t make it three from three in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) last Saturday.
Crafty will enjoy an inside start from barrier three with Jamie Spencer as hoop. Her last two starts have mimicked stablemate’s Fontein Ruby, finishing just behind the filly in the second place in both the Edward Manifold and Caulfield Classic. In both races she was beaten by a neck but a good barrier draw may give her the upper hand this time around.
Lumosty is the sole last start winner for Smerdon after winning the Group 2 Fillies Classic (1600m) on October 25. She took the lead at the beginning and controlled the speed from there. After taking off at 250m the filly won the race with plenty of ease. This followed a nine length maiden victory on October 1 at Sale, which proves she’s got plenty of speed. However she’s yet to be tested past the mile, which could prove too much for her.
Wakeful Stakes winner Thunder Lady will jump from barrier eight with Tommy Berry in the saddle. Berry missed out on a run in the 2014 Melbourne Cup after both The Offer and Sea Moon were scratched.
The Wakeful Stakes is without a doubt the key lead-up race to the Crown Oaks despite running just five days before. 14 of the last 20 Crown Oaks winners have come through the Wakeful Stakes with eight completing the double – the last of which was Brazilian Pulse in 2010.
After winning the Wakeful Stakes at odds of $31, Thunder Lady is in prime position to back-up with a win on Thursday.
Robbie Laing’s Golconda will enjoy the rails run after drawing barrier one while Listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m) winner Abduction will represent Godolphin.
Check out the complete 2014 Crown Oaks final field below to get a comprehensive guide of the race.
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2014 Crown Oaks Finald Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||36×3115116||FONTEIN RUBY Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||6||55.5kg||92|
|2||2211×0373||GO INDY GO||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Chad Schofield||5||55.5kg||99|
|3||33x161x032||CRAFTY||Robert Smerdon||Jamie Spencer||3||55.5kg||82|
|4||23×2181||LUMOSTY||Robert Smerdon||Nicholas Hall||9||55.5kg||86|
|5||64×32531||THUNDER LADY (NZ)||John Sargent||Tommy Berry||8||55.5kg||84|
|6||4×12142||ABDUCTION||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||7||55.5kg||78|
|7||1x860x5054||GOLCONDA||Robbie Laing||Vlad Duric||1||55.5kg||68|
|8||311||SET SQUARE Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Ciaron Maher||Hugh Bowman||2||55.5kg||76|
|9||224×08415||GAME OF FAME||Jason McLachlan||Damien Oliver||4||55.5kg||62|
|10||061093||IMPERIAL LASS (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||12||55.5kg||66|
|11||56105||YESTERJOY||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||11||55.5kg||64|
|12||433648||HIPSTER GIRL Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Jason Warren||Ben Melham||10||55.5kg||63|