Kiwi filly Eleonora will have no trouble getting the distance in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks over 2500m at Flemington today with stout staying blood on both sides of her pedigree.
Eleonora’s grand dam is the great New Zealand mare Ethereal who won the Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double in 2001 and her sire, shuttle stallion Makfi, could produce another Oaks winner this calendar year after his daughter Sofia Rosa won the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Eleonora ironically won the race named after her grand dam when she beat subsequent Wakeful Stakes winner Tiamo Grace in the Group 3 $150,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 15.
“She runs like a stayer and is certainly bred to get the distance with Ethereal as her grand dam,” co-trainer Murray Baker told Racenet.
Eleonora broke her maiden two starts back over 1300m on the Geelong Synthetic track on September before finishing a very unlucky eleventh at her last start in the Group 2 $200,000 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 2.
“She had no luck at all there from barrier two.” Baker said.
“We’re pretty sure if she had got a run in the straight she would have gone close but she put that right next start.”
Baker has been pleased with the filly’s progress since winning the Ethereal Stakes and is expecting her to fully test the odds on favourite Yankee Rose.
“Outside of the favourite it doesn’t look an overly strong race and I’m very happy with our filly,” Baker said.
“With ordinary luck we think she will be in the finish.”
Eleonora has drawn barrier ten in the fifteen horse field with Damien Oliver in the saddle and is the second pick in the betting for the Crown Oaks at $8.50 with Ladbrokes.con.au who have the David Vandyke trained Yankee Rose as the $1.70 favourite.
The Lindsay Park trained Harlow Gold is on the third line of betting at $9 and is coming off a last start sixth against the colts and geldings in the Group 2 $200,000 LUCRF Super Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Yankee Rose is yet to be tested over the 2500m of the Crown Oaks, but she did finish strongly at the end of the 2000m when she beat Swear and Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon in the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick on October 8.
The All American filly then made up ground from the back again when third to Winx in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.