Delicacy No Certainty for 2015 Schweppes Oaks

Grant Williams’ visiting Perth filly Delicacy has arrived in Adelaide, but is far from a confirmed starter in the Schweppes Australasian Oaks 2015 at Morphettville Racecourse on Saturday.

Wine Tales (inside)

Wine Tales (inside) is the likely only runner for Chris Waller in Saturday’s 2015 Schweppes Oaks in Adelaide. Photo: Steve Hart.

There are officially 38 three-year-old fillies nominated for this autumn’s edition of the $400,000 Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m), the set weights race registered as the Australasian Oaks and running in South Australia on Saturday as part of the Robert Sangster Stakes Day action.

Pre-field Schweppes Oaks odds are currently open at with the Robert Smerdon-trained Fontein Ruby the short-priced favourite at $3.40.

Further down the markets just outside the single figure hopes is then the Bob Peters-owned WA filly Delicacy, the daughter of Al Maher paying $11 to win her fourth straight race.

She is yet to race outside of Perth, her four most recent victories all occurring at Ascot including the Group 3 W.A. Oaks (2400m) – Group 2 W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m) double over the mile and a half this autumn.

While she has the consistency and class, her owner-breeder Peters confirmed she had made the trip from WA to Adelaide well, but that a decision on whether or not to run her in the Oaks on the weekend would be made over the next few days.

“Unless she shows us she’s absolutely right to run, she won’t run,” Peters told The Advertiser said on Sunday.

“She’s had a long campaign, we will know a lot more in the next few days.

“She travelled well, she’s tough, but I’m mindful of the fact she’s had a long campaign.”

Having saluted as the odds-on favourite in the Oaks – Derby double back home, Peters said the test for Delicacy now was to see how that form stacked up against the eastern state three-year-olds.

“That’s something we’ll find out after Saturday,” he said.

Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller meanwhile has hinted that one of his two Schweppes Oaks nominees, $8 chance Ballet Suite, was an unlikely acceptor.

She ran a close fourth to Fenway, who occupies the second line of Schweppes Oaks betting at $6 ahead of the weekend, in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 28 before a last start eighth when beaten over 15 lengths in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) on April 11.

Waller’s sole representation in the Adelaide feature would then be Wine Tales, also currently paying $8 for the win, who comes off a brave second to Hi World in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick from April 18.

Hugh Bowman has been booked to ride Wine Tales on Saturday shooting for his maiden win in the race.

Another confirmed Schweppes Oaks jockey for Saturday is former Adelaide-based Dwayne Dunn who will ride Luke Oliver’s Mastercraftsman filly Kansas Sunflower, the young grey coming off a close second when beaten a nose by Fitocracy in the Group 3 Auraria Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville last start.

The Auraria Stakes, also registered as the Schweppervescence Stakes, has produced the past three Australasian Oaks winners with Invest (2012), Maybe Discreet (2013) and May’s Dream (2014).

The Schweppes Australasian Oaks 2015 field and barriers are out on Wednesday so stay tuned.

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