The step up in distance at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday is set to suit Wyong-trained galloper Oxford Poet according to his trainer Kim Waugh who is confident the galloper can score his maiden Black-Type win.
Only 10 gallopers were nominated for this year’s $100,000 Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) on Monday, entries for the Sydney Winter Racing Carnival clash extended until late Tuesday morning.
Among the current nominees is Waugh’s in-form Dylan Thomas five-year-old Oxford Poet.
The gelding ran a nice first-up second to That’s A Good Idea over 1100m at Randwick in late May when defeated in the final stride after leading nearly all the way.
A last start third followed when beaten only two lengths by Danish Twist in the Listed June Stakes (1100m) at the same track on June 11 where he again displayed his front-running style but got caught three-wide with no cover.
They kept kicking up inside Oxford Poet and he was trapped three deep,” Waugh told The Daily Telegraph this week.
“The other two (Kuro and Fine Mist) ran third-last and last but he fought on for third, so it was a really good run.”
To date Oxford Poet has won four of his 20 starts for a further eight seconds and four minor placings.
He has a stellar record at Rosehill Racecourse of two wins and a third from four previous runs at the track he returns to on Saturday in the Civic Stakes.
It will be his first run at Rosehill since a third behind San Diego back in February last year, and after the luckless June Stakes placing, Waugh is confident the horse can finish closer getting back out over 1350m.
“He will like getting out to 1350m,” Waugh confirmed.
Runner-up to Artlee in last year’s Listed Luskin Star (1300m), Oxford Poet hasn’t been out over further than that since a third in the mud at Randwick in April 2015 behind Sure And Fast in the Provincial Championship (1400m).
Despite the low numbers, it is still shaping up as a class edition of the Civic Stakes.
Other noteworthy entries include Peter Robl’s last start Listed Eye Liner Stakes winner over the distance at Ipswich a fortnight back Ninth Legion, the Jason Coyle-trained Office Bearer coming off a second in the Winter Dash from last Saturday at Randwick and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) winner from May Snippets Land.
Stay tuned for all the latest on the weekend’s racing, betting for which will be open at Ladbrokes.com.au at the guaranteed hottest odds!