Vain Queen Holding Out for 2015 Oakleigh Plate

John Sadler has chosen to bypass the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) in favour of the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) for Vain Queen’s first-up run this autumn.

Vain Queen will bypass the Lightning Stakes in favour of resuming in the Oakleigh Plate.

Vain Queen will bypass the Lightning Stakes in favour of resuming in the Oakleigh Plate. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

The trainer admitted his five-year-old mare was unlikely to win against Lankan Rupee or Deep Field in the Lightning Stakes but could be a serious contender in the Oakleigh Plate, which is why he’s opted to rest the mare for an extra week.

“Realistically she was a chance to run third or fourth in the Lightning and we just thought we might take her where she has more of a winning chance,” Sadler told Racing Victoria.

“Two of the best sprinters in the land are running in the Lightning and to try and take them on at weight for age is a bit of a task.”

The handicap conditions of the Oakleigh Plate appealed to Sadler with Vain Queen set to be down near the minimum weight as she vies for her first Group One victory.

“She’s going to be on the minimum or I’d imagine she’d be on the minimum in the Oakleigh Plate and I think we should try her at handicap conditions first,” Sadler said.

“She has won at Caulfield once but one of her best runs was at Caulfield where she should have won there one day in a Group 3 ( Stakes), she had no luck, Craig Williams rode her but I don’t think the course is a problem.

“Damian Lane has just been booked to ride (her) in the Oakleigh Plate.”

Vain Queen was set on an extensive campaign last year, running straight through the autumn and spring with eight starts.

The mare was a luckless fourth in all three of her first black-type level races, including the Group 3 Stakes (1100m), which Sadler believes she should of won, however after getting checked several times she failed to get any clear running until the final 50 metres.

She broke through on her last start of spring, winning the Group 3 GH Mumm Stakes (1100m) at Flemington with an impressive three and a half length margin.

The Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) down the Flemington straight on March 14 remains a possible target for Vain Queen, however Sadler will wait and see how she performs in the Oakleigh Plate before making a final decision.

“Of course she is four-for-five down the straight so you’d like to run there at some stage but we’d have to see how she comes through,” Sadler said.

“How she goes in the Oakleigh Plate and how she comes through it and where she goes from there, it could even be the William Reid.

“The mare’s race in Adelaide, the Robert Sangster and the Goodwood are all possibilities.”

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