Sydney’s Chris Waller is full of confidence with his Queensland Oaks 2015 duo of Winx and Ballet Suite heading into this weekend’s Group 1 clash despite neither filly having run in the traditional lead-up at Doomben last Saturday.
The latest feature race of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival is the $500,000 Group 1 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday for the three-year-old fillies.
All but one of the past nine Queensland Oaks winners had their final lead-up run in the Group 2 The Roses, including Gondokoro (2013) and Tinto (2014) who both ran second before taking out the Group 1.
Last Saturday it was the Gai Waterhouse-trained Bohemian Lily who put herself right into the Oaks frame with an ultra-impressive, runaway four length The Roses win over Ben Currie’s Bradbury’s Luck filly Col ‘n’ Lil.
Waterhouse’s O’Reilly filly shortened dramatically in the early Queensland Oaks odds at Ladbrokes.com.au post-The Roses win and now pays $5 to complete the double last achieved by Scarlett Lady (2011).
Rival Sydney trainer Waller however said he wouldn’t swap his two Oaks hopes for anything else in the race, including The Roses winner.
“I wouldn’t swap Winx or Ballet Suite for anything else in the Oaks,” Waller told The Courier Mail on Sunday.
“Queensland racing in winter promotes the new generation of horses and hopefully one of my fillies is the next horse to talk about for the Spring.
“Bohemian Lily adds some extra spice in The Oaks but that is what racing is all about.
“I couldn’t be happier with my fillies.”
Sitting top of the Queensland Oaks betting markets at a firm $2.45 is Waller’s first hope, Street Cry filly Winx.
Runner-up to Gust Of Wind in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) back home on April 11, Winx was last seen scoring an excellent come from behind victory over the mile in the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m).
In Waller’s eyes that run was enough to bring her on fitness wise for the Oaks, run over a shorter 2200m this year with the change of venue from Eagle Farm to Doomben, and he left her rest over the weekend.
“Winx had her final gallop in the Caloundra Guineas,” Waller said of the filly who jockey Blake Shinn will ride on-pace turning the Oaks into a genuine staying test this winter.
He did originally however have stablemate Ballet Suite, who has eased out to $8 to win the Queensland Oaks after sitting second pick last week, in The Roses line-up.
Waller made the late call to scratch the in-form daughter of High Chaparral from the race however, leaving her final lead-up run as a win in the Listed Princess Stakes (2000m) at Doomben from May 9.
It was a brave call from the master horseman, but one he is ultimately happy with especially as Ballet Suite put in an impressive gallop at the Gold Coast on Saturday instead.
“Just to finish Ballet Suite’s preparation, we gave her a gallop at the Gold Coast and she worked extremely well,” Waller said.
“Both my horses have got a great grounding for The Oaks and I couldn’t be more confident.”
Check out the full futures Queensland Oaks 2015 odds open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au before the final field and barriers are released on Wednesday morning, remembering to also quote the code BETBONUS when you make your first deposit to have it matched 100% up to $500!