The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Trainer Ciaron Maher has a third Crown Oaks win in four years in sight this spring targeting the 2017 edition of the Melbourne Cup Carnival feature with Kiwi expat Aloisia who returns to racing on the weekend.
Maher enjoyed back-to-back Crown Oaks victories in 2014-15 with Set Square and Jameka respectively, the latter going on to win last year’s Caulfield Cup for the stable.
This Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival the master horseman is again targeting the Group 1 $1 million Crown Oaks (2500m), run as the Kennedy Oaks, when the Flemington feature takes place on Thursday November 9.
His major Crown Oaks player is Azamour filly Aloisia who makes her three-year-old debut at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday in the card opener.
The progressive OTI-raced youngster is engaged to take on a field of fellow new-season three-year-old fillies in the $120,000 Aquis Farm Supports Pinchapoo Plate (1400m) and is drawn a treat in barrier three.
Michael Dee takes the ride first-up on the elite level placed filly whose last start produced a close second behind Capital Gain at Doomben on June 10 in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
The J.J. Atkins loss was luckless with Aloisia blocked for a run at the top of the straight having been caught on the fence throughout three back with no room.
Prior to that Aloisia recorded the first and to date only win of her four-start career when saluting at Flemington over 1400m in her Australian debut after two runs across the Tasman earlier in the year.
Markets on Saturday’s race have Aloisia at $5 for the win through Ladbrokes.com.au just behind the Lindsay Park-trained favourite Sanadaat ($4.40) who was last seen running under two lengths fourth in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 9.
“She comes to hand pretty quickly and while she will take improvement out of this run, she has real quality about her and is drawn to get a nice run in a pocket just behind them,” Maher told the media this week.
“She wintered really well in Queensland and has trialled up nicely for this.
“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she won.”
Maher is confident that Aloisia will only improve on whatever she does first-up as he steps her up over more metres across the spring heading towards a Grand Final run in the Crown Oaks field.
“Jameka was big and strong, almost like a colt, whereas Set Square was like a whirlwind who came on the scene very quickly and did great things,” Maher said when comparing his previous Crown Oaks winners.
“Aloisia is different again, I would call her a very determined filly.
“I think that determination and will to win will take her a long way.
“The other top attribute she has is that, like Jameka and Set Square, she has a really great action.”
Current all-in Crown Oaks odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by the Darren Weir-trained Zabeel filly Anchor Bid ($9) who was last seen winning over the Bendigo mile on September 14.
Based on Maher’s record and praise of Aloisia, she sits on the second line of futures Crown Oaks betting paying $11 for the win.
Aloisia also holds a nomination for the Group 1 $500,000 Thousand Guineas (1600m) held at Caulfield Racecourse on October 14, and she is rated a $13 chance to win in markets dominated by Ladbrokes Blue Diamond winner Catchy ($5).
To back Aloisia over her spring campaign and to check out the full Group 1 racing odds on offer for the upcoming Thousand Guineas and Crown Oaks head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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