Today’s Gold Coast winner Express Power is on track for the Queensland Oaks after taking out the Listed $125,000 H Harvey Prestige Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m).
Winning jockey Jim Cassidy eased Express Power back to the rear of the field after jumping from gate thirteen but was able to circle the field and score a decisive win over stablemate Soapy Star who enjoyed a good run from an inside barrier.
Broadmeadow trainer Kris Lees will now head Express Power towards the Group 1 $400,000 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 1.
“After she ran second in the Adrian Knox the plan was always to bring her up here and aim for the Queensland Oaks and she’s taken a good step forward today,” Lees said.
“Soapy Star was game in defeat but I think she’ll struggle to beat the winner if we kept her up here so I’ll take her home and run in the Scone Guineas in a fortnight.”
Express Power is likely to make her next Queensland start in the Group 3 $175,000 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 18 as her final lead up to the Oaks with Soapy Star set to back home.
A change of tactics was needed when Express Power came up with the horror draw and Lees informed stewards prior to the race that the filly would be ridden more quietly than when she raced in a forward position when second to subsequent ATC Oaks winner Royal Descent in the Group 3 $125,000 Tabcorp Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 13.
With plenty of pace on in the early stages, Cassidy was able to bide his time on Express Power and made his move from 700m and as soon as he loomed up in the straight looked the winner a long from home.
Runner up Soapy Star showed that she is a filly on the improve and handled the rise up in class well after being place at Randwick and Canterbury at her last two starts.