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A better racing surface and a step up in distance will suit market drifter Scarlet Dream in the 2019 Group 1 $1m Heineken 3 Australian Oaks (2400m) on Day Two of The Championships at Randwick on Saturday.

Verry Elleegant, above, is the short priced favourite for the 2019 Australian Oaks at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Verry Elleegant, above, is the short priced favourite for the 2019 Australian Oaks at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Trainer Mark Newnham doesn’t agree with bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au who have turned Scarlet Dream’s price out from $15 to $20 in the last couple of days and expects his filly to run a much improved race than she a fortnight ago when seventh to Verry Elleegant in the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill a fortnight ago.

The Rosehill track was rated in the heavy range for the Vinery Stud Stakes and Newnham said that Scarlet Dream didn’t handle the wet conditions as well as a lot of the other fillies.

The Randwick track is currently rated a Soft 5 on the eve of the Australian Oaks and Newnham is expecting a vast improvement from Scarlet Dream who will also appreciate the step up to the 2400m.

“She was probably a little disappointing to the eye in the Vinery, but it was a heavy 10 and she was back last and had to come wide. It’s never a good recipe at Rosehill and certainly not when it’s heavy and rail out six metres,” Newnham told AAP.

“Her work on Monday was as good as you’d like and I’m sure a mile-and-a-half is what she’s been looking for, and a big track.”

Verry Elleegant has run all of her best races on rain affected surfaces and Newnham is hoping that the heavy track conditions in the Vinery Stud Stakes amplified the Chris Waller trained filly’s winning performance.

“She hasn’t won on a dry track so I’m hoping that’s the chink in her armour,” Newnham said.

“If she’s as good on dry ground as she is on wet ground then we probably should be worried.”

Blake Shinn will be bale to give Scarlet Dream every chance from the inside barrier while James McDonald sticks with Verry Elleegant who has drawn an awkward gate at twelve in the fifteen horse Australian Oaks field.

Verry Elleegant is marked as the $1.65 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Australian Oaks ahead of Vinery Stud Stakes placegetters Frankely Awesome at $6 and Aristia at $6.50.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.