Leading form expert Adam Blencowe has Arabian Gold on top of his 2014 Queensland Oakstip and believes that the classy filly is the likely winner of the Group 1 event at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Arabian Gold took out both the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 and the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at the same venue a fortnight later before stamping herself as a dominant favourite for the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) with a comfortable win in the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 17.
The daughter of Dubawi filly was at Queensland Oaks odds of $2 earlier the week before drifting out to $2.50 after suffering a minor setback on Tuesday when she twisted one of her shoes, but Blencowe told RSN this morning that he is more than happy to take the odds currently available for Arabian Gold to give trainer David Vandyke his first Group 1 victory.
“I have her marked at $1.85, so shorter than she is at the moment, and I think that setback that was publicised during the week has made her a little bit easy and I think that if she turns up on the day and looks in good order she will start a little bit shorter than the 6/4 on offer,” Blencowe said.
“I doubt that she will start odds-on in the big field and there are enough half chances around there to keep her out.
“Historically speaking winning the Doomben Roses hasn’t been a great recipe for this, only a couple have done the double, and it hasn’t been a great favourites race either, but she has the form in the books to be a good winner of the Queensland Oaks and more importantly she has the form to beat what is being put in front of her here.”
There has been a sprinkling of support for the likes of Tinto ($7), Khutulun ($8), Hera ($16), Star Fashion ($17) and Sancerre ($17) in Queensland Oaks betting markets, but Blencowe feels that on ratings Arabian Gold is roughly ten pounds superior to all of her rivals in the Group 1 event.
“She is only about four or five pounds clear of Hera, but Hera comes here a run short and I don’t think the preparation is perfect for her,” Blencowe said.
“Arabian Gold has probably got ten pounds over Tinto and a little bit less over the fillies from South Australia, but they are not upwardly spiraling either.”