Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Mark Newnham’s ultra-consistent Harmony Rose is narrow favourite in a wide open 2021 Australian Oaks betting market to return to winning form on Saturday at Royal Randwick.
The progressive daughter of Glass Harmonium is one of ten smart young fillies with staying potential facing off in the Group 1 $1 million The Star Australian Oaks (2400m) as part of Day 2 of ‘The Championships’.
Drawn in gate five with Joshua Parr retaining the ride, the recent Randwick Guineas third placegetter is out to go one better than her lead-up second when narrowly defeated in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on April 3.
Harmony Rose is the current $3.40 Australian Oaks favourite through Ladbrokes.com.au and is out to be the fifth to salute for the punters in as many years joining: Bonneval ($4.20 in 2017), Unforgotten ($4 in 2018), Verry Elleegant ($2 in 2019) and Colette ($3 in 2020).
Chris Waller’s Vinery Stud Stakes winner, Hungry Heart is also backing-up in the Australian Oaks field out to do the double for the first time since her star stablemate Verry Elleegant (2019).
Waller has won a total of three ATC Oaks trophies and looks a genuine chance of making it a quartet with his classy daughter of Frankel Hungry Heart who pays $5 to salute from barrier three with Kerrin McEvoy aboard.
Sitting between Harmony Rose and Hungry Heart at Australian Oaks odds of $4 is the gutsy David Payne-trained dual Group 1 winner Montefilia.
Last spring the outstanding Kermadec filly won the Flight Stakes – Spring Champion Stakes double before her third to Personal in the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) in Melbourne.
Second-up this time in she was very good when a length back third to Mo’unga in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) before taking on the boys again last Saturday in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).
Montefilia was favourite in the Derby and was far from disgraced when fourth, 2.4 lengths off the upset winner Explosive Jack.
She is rock hard fit and back against her own kind in the Oaks at the same track and distance on the weekend.
The other top elect following closely at $5.50 to make it four wins on the trot is Kiwi raider Amarelinha prepared by star young New Zealand horseman Jamie Richards.
The daughter of Savabeel has won five from seven back across the Tasman and was last seen winning the Group 1 NZ Oaks (2400m) over the same distance on March 20.
The NZ Derby form didn’t hold in Sydney last weekend with the winner Rocket Spade only managing to run 5.5 lengths back for eighth, but there remains money on the filly to frank the form out of the NZ Oaks down under on Saturday.
The value runner meanwhile looking to handle a rise in grade on the short turnaround is the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes winner from last weekend, Duais, for Edward Cummings.
2021 Australian Oaks Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||314113×634||MONTEFILIA||David Payne||Jason Collett||8||56kg||106|
|2||2112111||AMARELINHA (NZ)||Jamie Richards||Opie Bosson||7||56kg||104|
|3||x2227x7811||HUNGRY HEART||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||3||56kg||97|
|4||112×132||HARMONY ROSE||Mark Newnham||Joshua Parr||5||56kg||95|
|5||3x1x1x433||IMPECUNIOUS (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Damien Oliver||9||56kg||80|
|6||25×128211||DUAIS||Edward Cummings||Hugh Bowman||10||56kg||76|
|7||4317×91642||BARGAIN (NZ)||Mark Newnham||James McDonald||1||56kg||69|
|8||1x34x7116||LAND AHOY||John Sargent||Ms Alysha Collett||4||56kg||68|
|9||x331136655||SIGNORA NERA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||6||56kg||68|
|10||5431||SASSYSAV (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Craig Williams||2||56kg||59|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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