Vinery Stud Stakes winning filly Fenway is a shock scratching from the Australian Oaks 2015 on Day 2 of Sydney’s The Championships, one of three withdrawn from the classic.
On the eve of Royal Randwick’s biggest day of autumn racing, a number of surprise scratchings added to the drama of The Championships with some big name hopes in the Group 1s withdrawn on Friday afternoon due to lameness.
In the day’s marquee race, the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), race favourite Contriubter was taken out by John O’Shea with an injury to his off-foreleg leaving Japan’s To The World as the one to beat in the Ladbrokes.com.au markets.
This afternoon’s opening elite level meanwhile is the $1 million Group 1 Seven News Australian Oaks (2400m), running as Race 6 at 2:35pm (AEST), and there is now a total of three fillies missing from the original acceptors.
Yesterday afternoon the big loss was the Lee & Shannon Hope-trained High Chaparral filly Fenway.
The last start Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) winner was found to be lame in the near fore foot ruling her out of an Oaks bid.
Also withdrawn yesterday was the Gai Waterhouse-trained Adrift, drawn in barrier three with Damien Oliver to have ridden, after swelling was found in her near hind leg.
The third Australian Oaks scratching today then is one of Chris Waller’s three final acceptors, Wine Tales.
Waller still plays a very strong hand in the mile and a half showdown however preparing two of the five single figure hopes in the latest Australian Oaks odds.
Leading the markets at a firming $3.40, in from $4.60, is the rails-drawn Winx who has Brazilian Joao Moreira in the saddle as the daughter of Street Cry looks to improve on her last start fifth in the Vinery Stud Stakes.
The heavy rain in Sydney, which sees Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day play out on a Heavy (8) track, also works in Winx’s favour as she’s won in the mud previously.
She is followed by three $5.50 second elects including stablemate Ballet Suite drawn wide in barrier 13 (into 10) but coming off a close fourth when beaten under one and a half lengths in the Vinery Stud Stakes.
Also at $5.50 for the Oaks win today are New Zealand Oaks winner Savaria to be ridden by last year’s winning jockey James McDonald and John Sargent’s Vinery Stud Stakes third placegetter Thunder Lady.
The last of the single figure hopes at $9.50, in from $13 is then Candelara in barrier two who comes off a win in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at the track on Easter Monday.
The latest Australian Oaks 2015 odds are found below, markets courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on all four Group 1s in Sydney today.