Fontein Ruby on Queensland Oaks trial at Caulfield

Trainer Robert Smerdon will give Fontein Ruby one more chance to earn a start in the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben on May 30 when she lines up Caulfield on Saturday.

Fontein Ruby will be on trial for the Queensland Oaks when she runs at Caulfield. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Fontein Ruby will be on trial for the Queensland Oaks when she runs at Caulfield. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

The front running Fontein Ruby has been given 60kg in the $80,000 Super Vobis Three-Year-Old Handicap over 2000m at Caulfield on Saturday and Smerdon said a good performance could see connections pay a late entry for the Queensland Oaks.

A late entry fee of $7,500 can be paid at first acceptance time at 9am on May 20 and Smerdon should know by then if the Turffontein filly has done enough to warrant a trip north.

“We will use this race as a guide as to whether she will be going up for the Queensland Oaks,” Smerdon told AAP.

“She’s not actually in the Queensland Oaks at this stage but if she was good enough here we would think about paying a late nom, otherwise she can go to the paddock.”

Fontein Ruby was racing in outstanding form with wins in the Listed $120,000 Schweppes Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 27 and in the $250,000 Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria VOBIS Gold Reef (1600m) at Caulfield on April 18 before she headed to Adelaide.

The on pacer was then sent out the $3.80 favourite in the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes Oaks (registered as Australasian Oaks) (2000m) at Morphettville on May 2 but lost all chance when she was slow to leave the barriers.

Instead of being up the front setting the pace, Fontein Ruby was always well back in the field and never threatened to finish eleventh to Perth’s super filly Delicacy.

“She blew it at the start the other day,” Smerdon said.

“Once she was slow out, that was the end of her chances.”

Fontein Ruby has earned over $1 million in prizemoney and bonuses for connections with her biggest pay day being her win in the Group 3 $750,000 racing.com Caulfield Classic (2000m) at Caulfield during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.

At her previous start two weeks prior the tough filly also saluted with an all the way win in the Group 2 $200,000 TAB Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

Because Fontein Ruby is not in the nominations for the Queensland Oaks, the filly is not listed in the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Chris Waller trained fillies Ballet Suite and Winx equal favourites at $6.

Kiwi filly Platinum Witness is next in the market at $10 just ahead of the Gai Waterhouse trained Bohemian Lily and Exquisite Jewel at $11.

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.

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