Chris Waller’s fillies dominate the nominations...
Chris Waller has revealed he will target the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 11 with Ballet Suite after the filly impressed at Randwick on Wednesday.
Ballet Suite had her first-up run of the autumn in the Colin Glover Handicap (1400m) during the mid-week meeting, beating home 11 rivals in a dominant run.
With a starting price of $9 at Ladbrokes.com.au, the three-year-old filly swept up from the back of the field before easing out to make her bid at the 500m mark. She was the widest runner in the straight and gave the leaders a six length start before gathering in to win three-quarters of a length in front of Shengli ($9) with Miss Interiors ($31) a further length away in third.
It was Ballet Suite’s first run for Waller after transferring from Mark Kavanagh’s stables at the end of last year. The trainer will now prepare the filly on a 2015 Australian Oaks path.
“She’s got the pedigree to be an Oaks filly so we’ll put her on a traditional path to the Australian Oaks,” Waller told Sky Racing.
The “traditional path” Waller speaks of generally includes either the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) or Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m)
In the last 10 years, the Vinery Stud Stakes has been the key lead-up race, run two weeks before at Rosehill. Five winners have graduated to the Oaks with two completing the double, Heavenly Glow (2008) and Serenade Rose (2006).
Of course it’s not necessary to win the Vinery Stud Stakes, Rising Romance finished fourth in last year’s race before going on to win the Australian Oaks.
The other notable lead-up race in the last 10 years is the Adrian Knox Stakes, run the week before. Three winners in the last 10 years have made the leap to Group 1 level – and each has completed the double – Royal Descent (2013), Wild Iris (2004), and Republic Lass (2002).
Waller won the race with Royal Descent two years ago and her path towards the Australian Oaks included the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) and Group 3 Keith Nolan Classic (1600m), which could give some insight into where Ballet Suite will be heading in the coming months.
Ladbrokes.com.au has promoted Ballet Suite to a $14 chance in the Australian Oaks futures betting following her win on Wednesday.
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