A field full of Australasian Oaks-bound fillies take to the Morphettville track in Adelaide this weekend for the Auraria Stakes 2017.
One of two Group status races on the card on Saturday, this year’s $120,000 Listed Schweppervescence Stakes (1800m) is registered as the Auraria Stakes and runs as Morphettville Race 7.
Originally attracting an above capacity field of fillies eyeing a run back at the track on May 6 in the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Australasian Oaks (2000m), two of the emergencies come in for early scratchings making for a twenty-starter line-up.
Drawn out wide in gate nineteen, into sixteen, is the Darren Weir-trained favourite in Auraria Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Kenedna.
Despite the nasty barrier, the super-consistent daughter of Not A Single Doubt is at $3.90 for the win and is also the second favourite behind Savvy Dreams in pre-nomination Australasian Oaks betting at bookies around the country.
Kenedna has run top three in her four latest runs going back to Australia Day, including a win in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington.
She ran third next-up in a close finish behind Myer Classic champion I Am A Star in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) before winning her Adelaide debut on April 8 in the Listed Laelia Stakes (1600m).
Jockey John Allen will have to work to get Saturday’s favourite in a winning position, but if he can the filly should have the class to get the job done in her first look at further than a mile.
The other best early 2017 Australasian Oaks fancy running in the traditional lead-up on the weekend is the Danny O’Brien-trained Toorak Toff filly Toffee Nose.
Her latest run at Caulfield produced a third behind Sword Of Light on April 8 over 1600m in a three-year-old fillies’ handicap.
She is yet to win over further than 1200m and is only a $16 shot for Saturday, a longer price than futures markets have her at to win the Oaks next month.
Despite the size of the Auraria Stakes field, just two other hopes join Kenedna under double-figures for the win.
Kiwi raider Savvy Dreams pays $5.50 to post her first win since a successful debut back home in New Zealand on New Year’s Day, while the Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas-trained Pretty Punk is getting early love from the punters at $7.50 to win for the locals.
Savabeel filly Savvy Dreams is yet to race down under, but her form across the Tasman has been franked in Australia during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
She was last seen finishing third behind Bonneval in the Group 1 NZ Oaks (2400m), the winner of which subsequently travelled over and won the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) during Randwick’s ‘The Championships’.
Pretty Punk gets the home track advantage being locally-prepared at Morphettville and she also has Group 2 Melbourne form from the spring.
Her latest run was a fourth to Kenedna in the Laelia and with previous winning form over the 1800m, she will relish the step-up in distance this weekend.
Check out the full Auraria Stakes 2017 field, barriers and Fixed Win odds below – prices provided by Ladbrokes.com.au.