The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Sacred Eye is the best-fancied of the 23 three-year-old fillies paid up for at first acceptance stage for the Crown Oaks 2015 this Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse.
Racing Victoria took the latest round of declarations for three Group 1 features of this year’s Cup Carnival including the $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) that runs on Thursday November 5.
Originally the classic attracted 88 nominations back in September but only 23 fillies remain in the Crown Oaks mix this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, up from 19 last season.
Lindsay Park horseman David Hayes, who now trains in partnership with his nephew Dabernig, won the 2006 edition of the race with Miss Finland nearly a decade ago and is back with this year’s top fancy Sacred Eye.
The High Chaparral filly pays $3.40 in the latest all-in Crown Oaks odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on all the Melbourne Group 1 majors this Spring, with favourites having won six of the past 10 editions of the race.
A winner of two of her four starts to date, Sacred Eye is yet to finish worse than second and was last seen winning the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day where she defeated Caulfield Guineas runner-up and 2015 Victoria Derby-bound Lizard Island.
Hayes & Dabernig boast a total of three Crown Oaks first acceptors with Sacred Eye joined by stablemates Stay With Me and Dawn Of Hope in the possible line-up in a race boasting a capacity field of 16 starters.
Stay With Me is a $9 fancy who has won two of her past three starts with victories over Group 1 winner Pasadena Girl in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) in early September and a last start elite level success in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) on October 10.
Dawn Of Hope meanwhile is a $17 outsider after running ninth in her black-type debut last weekend in the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.
Ethereal Stakes winner Dawnie Perfect shortened into the $6.50 second pick in all-in Crown Oaks betting for trainer Clarry Conners who has prepared three previous VRC Oaks winners.
Conners trained Research (1988), Arborea (1993) and most recently Dear Demi (2012) to victory and plans to take his chance this year into the $300,000 Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) on Victoria Derby Day at Flemington Saturday week as he did with all three of his previous champions.
The Wakeful Stakes is the race to follow form-wise into the Crown Oaks having produced 21 winners since 1983.
Other early single figure Crown Oaks hopes among the first declarations this season are the Ciaron Maher-trained Thousand Guineas runner-up Jameka ($8), fourth in the same fillies’ feature Pasadena Girl ($8) and the John O’Shea-trained Ambience ($9) for Godolphin.
Myboycharlie filly Jameka has run top three in her past four starts including a Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) victory back in the autumn and her second in the Guineas behind Stay With Me.
Sitting number one on the Crown Oaks ballot, the Peter Moody-trained Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) winner in Sydney from April Pasadena Girl is looking for her first win since next start.
Street Cry filly Ambience meanwhile is O’Shea’s top chance of winning a maiden Crown Oaks, the recent Dulcify Quality winner in Sydney debuting in Melbourne with a third to Dawnie Perfect in the Ethereal.
The 2015 Crown Oaks final field is out on Monday November 2 at 4:30pm (AEST) so before then make sure you back your early selections at Ladbrokes.com.au at their generous futures prices!
2015 Crown Oaks First Declarations
Flemington Racecourse – 05/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight|
|1||1141×254||PASADENA GIRL (NZ)||F||3||Peter G Moody||1||55.5kg|
|2||25×1161||STAY WITH ME||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||2||55.5kg|
|3||1221||SACRED EYE||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||3||55.5kg|
|5||8×4211222||HONESTA||F||3||John P Thompson||5||55.5kg|
|7||035×6231||DAWNIE PERFECT||F||3||Clarry Conners||7||55.5kg|
|8||0x521x076||THE GREY FLASH||F||3||Robbie Laing||8||55.5kg|
|10||413×3416||DON’T DOUBT MAMMA||F||3||Tony McEvoy||10||55.5kg|
|11||6x314x0||BENGAL CAT||F||3||John Sadler||11||55.5kg|
|13||2145×48||SEMPRE LIBERA||F||3||Gai Waterhouse||13||55.5kg|
|16||135||THAMES COURT||F||3||David Brideoake||16||55.5kg|
|18||36×72937||ZARABEEL (NZ)||F||3||Leon & Troy Corstens||18||55.5kg|
|19||24×41||MISS WILSON||F||3||Simon Morrish||19||55.5kg|
|20||319||DAWN OF HOPE||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||20||55.5kg|
|22||896×5755||PRINCESS ARIA||F||3||Marc Conners||22||55.5kg|