NZ Oaks placegetter Savvy Dreams is set to make a raid on the Australasian Oaks 2017 in Adelaide next month out to further frank the form of the Kiwi youngsters this season.
The top two out of the NZ Derby both enjoyed elite level success in Sydney with the winner Gingernuts taking out the Rosehill Guineas and the runner-up Jon Snow saluting in the ATC Derby at Randwick.
This year’s NZ Oaks winner Bonneval also completed a cross-Tasman double, flying home for a commanding four and a half-length victory in the ATC Oaks.
Back on March 18 the Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen-trained Savabeel filly Savvy Dreams finished three lengths back third to Bonneval in the Group 1 NZ Oaks (2400m).
Plans are now to set the up-and-comer for a Morphettville run on May 6 in the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Australasian Oaks (2000m).
Unlike the commanding recent record of New Zealand-trained three-year-olds in the Sydney races, the Australasian Oaks has been dominated by fillies from local and interstate stables.
Co-trainer Cullen however said the dominant Sydney Oaks win by Bonneval convinced the team that their placegetter Savvy Dreams was worth bringing over in time for the Adelaide feature.
“She came through the run in the New Zealand Oaks really well so we decided to push on and head over,” he told Racing Victoria.
“I was buoyed by Bonneval going very well on Saturday and that’s given us a little bit of confidence going forward.
“She finished second to Bonneval in the Lowland Stakes [over 2100m] two starts ago, beaten a nose, and then was probably beaten three lengths to Bonneval in the Oaks.
“That’s another reason we headed to Adelaide too because we knew Bonneval and the other filly Devise [NZ Oaks runner-up] were heading to Sydney.”
Cullen remains aware of the tough ask of Savvy Dreams to win a Group 1 down under as the lightly-raced filly only debuted on New Year’s Day and was still learning.
“She is very immature still so this is going to be a big test for her but I think the test will make her going ahead to next year as a four-year-old,” Cullen said.
“She is immature but she’s very talented so hopefully she’ll come over there and perform well and we’ll push on to next year.”
Savvy Dreams is set to race in Australia for the first time at Morphettville on April 22 in the $120,000 Group 3 Schweppervescence Auraria Stakes (1800m).
“That will be her first race – the 1800-metre race on the 22nd of April and Paul Gatt will ride her in that,” Cullen confirmed.
The Auraria Stakes is the traditional Australasian Oaks lead-up, but the double hasn’t been achieved since Grand Echezeaux back in 2000.
Jockey Craig Williams, who rode Grand Echezeaux to victory in the Australasian Oaks seventeen years ago, is booked for the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks ride on Savvy Dreams second-up.
“Craig Williams is actually booked to ride her in the Oaks. He knows her form and he’s more than happy to ride her,” Cullen said.
Held on the same day as the $1 million Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m), the Schweppes Oaks 2017 nominations close on Thursday April 27.
To back Savvy Dreams for her Australian race targets in the coming weeks at the right price, head to Ladbrokes.com.au.