Beaten Australian Oaks favourite Jameka will be spelled before being set for a Caulfield – Melbourne Cup campaign in the Spring.
Jameka has just completed a tough Autumn Carnival and even though she failed to win a race from five starts, the Ciaron Maher trained filly was very competitive in the three year old Classics.
Jameka was the pick of the fillies during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival with a clear cut victory in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington, but she hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since.
The Melbourne Spring Carnival is back on the agenda with the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield and the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington a high priority.
“I haven’t finalised the path we will take yet but definitely the Caulfield and the Melbourne Cups are on her radar,” Maher told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
Maher said that Jameka would have a break now after finishing an unlucky fourth as the $3.20 favourite to Kiwi filly Sofia Rosa in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick last Saturday.
At her two previous starts in Sydney Damien Oliver had Jameka racing up on the pace when third to Tarzino in the Group 1 $600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 19 followed by a second to Tavago in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on day one of “The Championships’ on April 2.
So Maher was surprised to see Oliver drag the filly back to near the tail of the field in the early stages of the Australian Oaks before running on strongly in the straight.
“I was surprised that we went back. Anyway he made the decision,” Maher said.
“On the back up she was probably on the fitter side than the sharper side.”
“It probably wasn’t ideal for her, but she ran a great race as she always does and probably very unlucky not to get a second one (Oaks win).”
In early Spring Carnival betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Jameka is a $21 chance for the Caulfield Cup and is marked at $34 for the Melbourne Cup.
Victoria Derby winner Tarzino heads the Caulfield Cup market order at $17 while Japanese stayer Fame Game shares the top of the Melbourne Cup betting at $17 with Ranvet Stakes winner The United States.