Seven-year-old Irish import Sixties Groove found...
The Danny O’Brien trained Miami Bound will backup in Thursday’s $1 million Kennedy Oaks (2500m) at Flemington after drawing barrier eight on Monday.
Last weekend’s Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) winner will go around as the $3.70 favourite in Ladbrokes’ Kennedy Oaks market with jockey Damien Oliver retaining the ride. The filly narrowly won the Wakeful in a thrilling dash to the line over Vegas Jewel, who will also lineup on Thursday from barrier 15.
Miami Bound has won three from six career starts, all with Oliver in the saddle. The three-year-old firmed in Oaks co-favouritism on Saturday alongside Vegas Jewel and now looks to become a maiden Group 1 winner in her grand finale.
“It’s good to see her back on track. Her first two runs this prep were fantastic, we thought we had an Oaks filly. The last two runs left us wondering a bit, but she was brave when I wanted her,” Oliver said following Saturday’s win in the Wakeful.
Miami Bound showed an enormous turn of foot down the straight as she drew clear from the rest of the field alongside Vegas Jewel. The step-up in trip, as well as the short turnaround, poses a few queries ahead of the Oaks, but O’Brien thinks the Wakeful form should stand the test.
“Today was a nice even gallop which suited her and a strong staying test which suited her as well.
I think getting out to 2500m, she’s had a beautiful prep for Thursday and she’s capped it off with winning a Wakeful which is usually a great guide” O’Brien said.
Miami Bound entered Oaks calculations with a first-up win at Bendigo back in August. She followed that up with another win at Bendigo a fortnight later and a placing in the Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in October.
Thirty-six horses have completed the Wakeful Stakes-Kennedy Oaks double, with Aristia being the most recent to do so last year.
Oliver won the Oaks aboard Jameka in 2015 and should feel confident about his ride on Thursday.
Miami Bound’s mother Arapaho Miss won the Oaks in 2007 under trainer Pat Carey, while father Reliable Man also won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2013.
Vegas Jewel lost no admirers on Saturday running a very brave second. The New Zealand import opened her career with a pair of victories at Echuca and Moonee Valley followed by runner-ups in the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes and last weekend in the Wakeful. She has been installed as a $3.90 chance alongside Moonlight Maid, who won the Edward Mainfold Stakes before finishing runner-up in the Moonee Valley Vase a fortnight ago.
Complete 2019 Kennedy Oaks odds can be viewed by clicking here.
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||3×11341||MIAMI BOUND (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||8||55.5kg||70|
|2||14×412||MOONLIGHT MAID||Mitchell Freedman||Ben Melham||11||55.5kg||85|
|3||6×2121||GAMAY||Archie Alexander||Ryan Moore||1||55.5kg||81|
|4||1122||VEGAS JEWEL (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh||Jordan Childs||15||55.5kg||75|
|5||4232×6335||FOXBOROUGH||John Sargent||Tim Clark||10||55.5kg||68|
|6||14246||SILENT SOVEREIGN||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Jamie Kah||7||55.5kg||65|
|7||8x223x108||PRESENTLY||Ken Keys||Dwayne Dunn||13||55.5kg||63|
|8||1×1055||BEAUTY BOLT||Grahame Begg||James McDonald||3||55.5kg||67|
|9||687×4131||AMAZING PEACE||Paul Perry||Nash Rawiller||2||55.5kg||65|
|10||85×5513461||NEVER LISTEN||John Ramsey||Darryl McLellan||5||55.5kg||64|
|11||x6665x1059||SONG BROCADE||John Sadler||Jye McNeil||9||55.5kg||61|
|12||144||OCEAN MISS||David & Coral Feek||Michael Walker||12||55.5kg||63|
|13||76×8510||APICIUS||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Stephen Baster||6||55.5kg||62|
|14||0x8351||STICK ’EM UP||John Sargent||Tommy Berry||4||55.5kg||62|
|15||072||VICTORY APPROACH||Michelle Payne||Ms Michelle Payne||14||55.5kg||57|
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