Wakeful Stakes: Aristia Firms into Kennedy Oaks Favourtism

November 3, 2018

Wakeful Stakes: Aristia Firms into Kennedy Oaks Favourtism

After so many promising runs, the Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra trained Aristia has recorded its first win from 10 starts in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

Having ran second in the Ethereal Stakes (2000m) last start, Aristia’s recent form lined up as the three-year old enjoyed a smooth run one-off the fence to go on and win by three-quarters of a length.

Aristia, above, has firmed into Oaks favourtism ahead of Thursday’s Group 1 feature.

Matthew Ellerton admits it’s been a frustrating Spring, but fully intends to run her in Thursday’s Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.

“It was a good race to break her maiden in, it would’ve been good if we could’ve won one along the way, but not complaining today that’s for sure” Ellerton said after the race.

“I’d say she’s probably a better filly with the sting out of the ground, but hopefully she pulls up okay and we can progress to Thursday with her.”

The win marked the stables first win on Derby Day since 2003, but more importantly for punters, it’s seen Aristia firm from $5.00 into $3.00 with Ladbrokes ahead of Thursday’s $1 million feature.

As for Damian Lane, the veteran jockey has won the Wakeful once before on Tiamo Grace (2016), but after a rather lousy Spring, he was elated with the win.

“Had a quiet couple Saturday’s, so it’s good to bounce back with a winner” Lane said after the race.

On another note, Darren Weir’s favourite Verry Elleegant finished a disappointing fifth after finding herself trapped toward the back of the pack with less than 500m to go.

Her poor run left the door wide open for Qafila to run second, although the Lindsay Park stable are still unsure whether or not they’ll head to the Oaks.

“Little bit unlucky, probably from the 400m to the 200m, was needing a run” trainer David Hayes said.

“The winner had her boxed in properly, but she was the best finisher and a really good run.”

Qafila has firmed from $26 into $5 ahead of the Oaks.

Likewise, El Dorado Dreaming did well to run on for third, but Kris Lees has chosen to skip Thursday’s race.

“No she won’t, we’ll put her away now, she’s had a mixed preparation” Lees said when asked on an Oaks possibility.

Full Kennedy Oaks odds can be seen below.

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