Ashlee Marie might be one of the outsiders of the field but veteran jockey Darren Gauci is not ruling out an upset win in the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Richard Laming trained filly has worked her way up through the classes with a recent win three starts back in a 2025m BenchMark 64 Handicap at Cranbourne on April 22 followed by a third in a 2400m BenchMark 64 Handicap at Bendigo on May 6.
Ashlee Marie then produced a career best run when second to Queensland Oaks rival Chabaud in the Group 3 $120,000 South Australian Fillies Classic (2500m) at Morphettville on May 21.
In Queensland Oaks betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Ashlee Marie is listed as one of the outsiders of the field at $51 but Gauci can see her running a competitive race even at the those odds.
“She can stay and race on pace and I think it’s a really even race,” Gauci told The Courier-Mail.
“That was a good run when she finished second in the South Australian (Fillies’ Classic) and I think that form will stack up.”
In a very open betting race the Bjorn Baker trained Imposing Lass and Team Snowden’s filly Falkenberg share favouritism for the Queensland Oaks at $7 just ahead of Dawnie Perfect and Romantic Maid at $8.
Baker is looking for two Group 1 wins in two weeks with Imposing Lass after his new stable star Music Magnate took out the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Imposing Lass made it four wins on the trot with her victory in the Listed $125,000 All-New Jaguar XE Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 7 before running third to Kebede in the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Millions The Roses (2000m) at Doomben a fortnight later.
Queensland Oaks market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $7 Falkenberg, Imposing Lass, $8 Romantic Maid, Dawnie Perfect, $9 Provocative, $11 Kebede, Ambience, $12 Chabaud, $13 Self Esteem, $15 Tavi Bay, $17 Sebring Sally, $19 Dulverton, $21 Tap This, $26 Zasorceress, Alaskan Rose, $31 Mount Omei, $34 Sahara Siren, $41 Beluga Blue, Queens Of Wands, $51 Ashlee Marie, Zafiki, $71 Meru.