Trainer Gai Waterhouse is typically brimming with confidence ahead of Saturday’s Cox Plate Day in Melbourne where she will saddle-up four runners across the card including her tough filly Sempre Libera in the 2015 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic.
A final field of nine three-year-old fillies line-up in Moonee Valley Race 3 at 1:50pm (AEST) on Saturday including the Waterhouse-trained daughter of Medaglia D’Oro in this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Alliance Broking Services Fillies Classic (1600m).
Current Moonee Valley Fillies Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering an Extra 50% on your very first Fixed Odds winner in Races 1 – 5 at the meeting, is the Robert Smerdon-trained Edward Manifold Stakes third placed My Poppette ($3.60).
Sempre Libera in the outside alley (9) with Damien Oliver aboard is also at single figures paying $5 for the win, which would be her first since a successful debut at Rosehill back in early April.
She is yet to race in Melbourne but comes off a credible eighth behind stablemate Speak Fondly in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on October 3 and should be improved after her first look at a mile.
Beaten under three lengths in the Flight Stakes, Sempre Libera did enough during that and her first-up fourth in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) to earn the trip to Melbourne according to Waterhouse.
“I have a lot of time for the very talented daughter of Medaglia Doro, Sempre Libera, and she showed me enough toughness and tenacity in Sydney to earn her ticket to Melbourne,” Waterhouse told Racing Victoria.
“She mixed it with the best fillies in the land in the Coolmore Flight Stakes and she certainly did not disappoint.
“Now with the drop in class in the Group 2 Fillies Classic at a trip that suits, she will be a real contender in the field of nine with the Group 1-winning jockey Damien Oliver on board.”
Sempre Libera is also nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) over more distance at Flemington on Thursday November 5 during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Waterhouse has saddled-up four previous VRC Oaks contenders for one second place finish over the years and hopes Sempre Libera can shape up to be the next.
If she stays on the Crown Oaks 2015 path, a likely seven-day turnaround from this weekend’s MV Fillies Classic into the $300,000 Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) on Victoria Derby Day is the most likely option.
The Wakeful Stakes has produced four of the past seven Crown Oaks winners, most recently in 2013 when the John Sargent-trained Kirramosa completed the double.
All-in VRC Crown Oaks odds at Ladbrokes are led this year by the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) winner from last weekend Sacred Eye ($3.20), whose stablemate Air Apparent runs in the MV Fillies Classic this weekend.
Sempre Libera is rated a $17 chance in the futures Crown Oaks betting markets.
Two of the other single figure Crown Oaks hopes, $8 fancies Jameka and Pasadena Girl, meanwhile take on the boys in the $200,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) this Saturday.
Victoria Derby-bound Tarzino in barrier 10 of 12 is the favourite for the Vase but the Peter Moody-trained Group 1 winner Pasadena Girl and Ciaron Maher’s Jameka, who ran fourth and second respectively in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) last start, are the next best in betting.
Get behind all your Cox Plate Day selections online now at Ladbrokes.com.au and enjoy Best Tote or SP + 20% on all the races on Saturday at Moonee Valley!