Imported stayer Oriental Lady has impressed since making her Australian racing debut in May and is a chance of running in the 2014 Newcastle Gold Cup if she performs well in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Oriental Lady was purchased by Australian Bloodstock at the end of 2013 after racing at Group level in Germany and she made her Australian racing debut when 12th in the James Boag’s Premium Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on May 24.
The Doyen mare produced an improved performance in the TAB Quaddie Handicap (1900m) at Canterbury on June 21 and she led all the way to score a dominant seven and a half lengths win in the Coca-Cola Plate (2300m) at Newcastle on June 24 before making it two wins from as many starts in the Ibis Milano Restaurant Handicap (2200m) at Warwick Farm on July 2.
Lees still believes that Oriental Lady will not be at her best until the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but said that he will look at the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on September 18 with the rising five-year-old depending on her performance this weekend.
“She’s doing a great job and she certainly deserves a crack at Saturday grade this week,” Lees told TVN.
“If she happened to come out and win or run very well I might freshen her up and have a go at the Newcastle Cup, but that would pull her up this time around.
“She might be able to step up again in the autumn, but in 12 months we might be looking at the better staying races in Melbourne with her.”
Oriental Lady made her racing debut with a win at Koln in Germany in 2012 and made her black type racing debut in just her second start before finishing fourth in the Group 3 Preis Der Winterkonigin at Baden Baden at the end of 2012.
The talented mare started her 2013 racing season with a second place finish in the Group 2 Diana-Trial (2011m) at Hoppegarten on June 9 and performed well in races like the Group 3 Almased Cup (2212m) at Hamburg on July 6, Group 1 Deutsches Stuten Derby (2212m) and Group 3 Von Zastrow Stutenpries (2212m) before being purchased by Australian Bloodstock.
Saigon Tea ($1.90) is currently a clear favourite in Hyland Race Colours Handicap betting market from Oriental Lady ($3.20), Miss Zenella ($7.50) and Tohunga ($7.50).