After bypassing last weekend’s Magic Millions Day on the Gold Coast, Brisbane trainer Danny Bougoure has confirmed plans to head south with his smart filly Oakleigh Girl for the aptly named 2015 Oakleigh Plate during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Bougoure briefly considered a run in the $176,000 Myer Magic Millions Open Sprint (1100m), won on Saturday by Sydneysider Straturbo, with his three-year-old Snitzel filly Oakleigh Girl.
She had good success at the Gold Coast track 12 months earlier when running three quarters of a length away second to Unencumbered in last year’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m).
A bruised foot however forced him to save her for her chance at more Melbourne Group glory following her win on debut on Melbourne Cup Day back in 2013.
“I had her in and was looking at the Sprint but she picked up a bruised hoof, missed 10 days and we decided to pull the pin, give her a couple of weeks off and then go to Melbourne,” he told Racenet this week.
In her maiden run Oakleigh Girl beat home Top Dolly by over a length in the Group 3 7News Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on the country’s biggest day of racing.
She won her next start six weeks later at Doomben in the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1010m) that year before a fourth in the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) and then her MM Classic second.
After a three month freshen-up she returned for her Sydney debut last April with Bougoure ambitiously running her first-up in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m).
Run on a Heavy (8) track at Rosehill last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, the Golden Slipper was won by Mossfun with Oakleigh Girl up on the speed early but tiring at the 200m before hitting the line three lengths off the winner in sixth.
Her latest start was then on April 19 when fifth to Eloping in the Group 3 Royal Randwick Stakes (1200m) where she again weakened late to miss out on a place.
She’s been in the paddock since maturing and Bougoure is thrilled with the condition she is now in ahead of her Melbourne return.
“She’s been in work, is going to Melbourne and I could not be happier with her,” he said.
“She had a really tough time in Sydney on wet tracks and she does not handle them. That took its toll on her but she’s in great shape now.”
Her most likely first major assignment will be in the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 28.
She’s certainly bred for Oakleigh Plate success with her sire Snitzel having won the race back in 2006 and her dam Miss Kournikova also a former winner from 2001.
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