The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Sydney’s leading horseman Chris Waller is in the hunt for his fourth Queensland Oaks success on Saturday saddling-up nearly half the field in the Group 1 feature at Eagle Farm including the early market mover Grace And Harmony.
A class line-up of 14 three-year-old fillies are in the mix for this season’s Group 1 $600,000 James Squire Queensland Oaks (2200m), six of which hale from the Waller stables.
Waller boasts a dominant recent record in the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival feature having enjoyed three wins in the past six years (without a 2020 edition) with Winx (2015), Egg Tart (2017) and Youngstar (2018).
Drawn well in barrier three with the season’s leading Group 1 winning hoop James McDonald aboard, the Sebring filly has won three of her six career starts.
She comes off a forgivable sixth behind stablemate Only Words in Doomben’s Group 2 The Roses (2000m) on May 22 when given no room from a wide alley in a crowded start before making up ground late.
At the roomier Eagle Farm course over further from a better barrier she presents as a genuine chance to turn the tables on a number of the same rivals that beat her home last time out in the traditional Oaks lead-up.
Waller’s The Roses winner Only Words is at $8 Queensland Oaks odds to do the double last completed by the stable with Youngstar (2018), while consistent The Roses third-placed Charms Star is at the same price to improve from gate six with Kerrin McEvoy aboard.
Easifar ($18) and Signora Nera ($18) – fourth and fifth respectively in The Roses – round out the Waller contingent.
The filly to beat however sitting top of the Queensland Oaks odds at a firm $4.60 is Bargain for Mark Newnham, the Ocean Park filly third two back in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) before her second in The Roses.
She’s fit and in form, suited to the step back up in distance and should get the run of the race from barrier four with Joshua Parr retaining the ride.
Equal at $5.50 with Grace And Harmony is the Edward Cummings-trained ATC Oaks runner-up Duais having her first run since the 2400m feature at Randwick in April, Hugh Bowman to ride from a wider barrier 12 alley in Saturday’s feature.
Chris Clathorpe’s upset Group 1 Australasian Oaks winner Media Award is the last of the chances under $10, the filly chasing her fourth win on the tot from barrier five with John Allen in the saddle again.
She took out the Morphettville event at 60/1 but is at much shorter Queensland Oaks odds of $8 to do the double, but there are injury concerns surrounding the Shamus Award filly.
Media Award, a $5000 bargain buy for connections, was the only Queensland Oaks hopeful that failed to pass her regular vet check on Thursday.
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