First acceptances closed for the 2015 Australian Oaks this afternoon (Tuesday) with 57 three-year-old fillies remaining in contention for the $1 million race on April 11, which is down from the original 120 that were nominated last month.
All the big names from the nominations remain in contention for the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), which is running on day two of The Championships series, with John Thompson’s First Seal continuing to lead the field. The filly is the only nominated horse with a handicap rating over 100, and it has even grown by three points since the nominations.
First Seal had yet to resume her autumn campaign when nominations closed on February 7 but has since had two successful starts. The filly enjoyed plenty of success during the spring and is already a winner at the highest level of racing after scoring the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) on October 4, after which she was runner-up in the Group 1 Champion Stakes (2000m) just one week later.
Following a four month spell, First Seal resumed in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) on February 14. It was a solid run from the filly but she was simply outrun by Gai Waterhouse’s Adrift, finishing three-quarters of a length behind the winner in second place.
She returned to the winner’s circle two weeks later, confidently winning the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) ahead of many of her Light Fingers rivals.
Jason Coyle’s Slightly Sweet is a new nominated filly that was previously not mentioned, impressing with her two minor placings in the Light Fingers and Surround Stakes last month.
Adrift has seen her handicap rating jump almost 30 places after winning the Light Fingers Stakes despite a starting price of $41; however she couldn’t duplicate her success in the Surround Stakes, finishing midfield in seventh place.
Chris Waller’s four nominated fillies – Amicus, Ballet Suite, Wine Tales, and Winx – all remain in the Australian Oaks first acceptances.
Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) winner Amicus has run unplaced in both of her two campaign starts while Ballet Suite won the Colin Glover Handicap (1400m) on resuming three weeks ago. Wine Tales resumed in the Surround Stakes on February 28, finishing midfield in sixth place.
Winx won the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) back in September but was in the shadow of First Seal in both the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and Flight Stakes. She was expected to excel on her return in the Light Fingers Stakes but was a disappointing seventh. The filly also failed to make anything of the Surround Stakes, finishing five lengths off the winner in fifth place.
Ciaron Maher’s Set Square won the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on November 6 and got her autumn off to a good start in the Group 3 Vanity (1400m) on February 21, finishing half a length off winner Sweet And Speedy in second place.
|1||ADRIFT (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||56kg||90|
|3||ARIANNE (NZ)||Pat Hyland||56kg||N/A|
|4||BALLET SUITE||Chris Waller||56kg||67|
|5||BETSY||Peter G Moody||56kg||N/A|
|6||BILLIE FRECHETTE (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||56kg||N/A|
|8||CASHLA BAY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||56kg||N/A|
|10||CLOUDBURST||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||56kg||N/A|
|11||COFFEE HIT||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||56kg||63|
|12||EAST AFRIKA||Pat Carey||56kg||N/A|
|13||FENWAY||Lee & Shannon Hope||56kg||N/A|
|14||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||56kg||106|
|16||GRANNY SMITH||Anthony Cummings||56kg||57|
|17||HEAVENS ABOVE||Tim Martin||56kg||63|
|18||HIGH ABOVE||Anthony Cummings||56kg||68|
|19||HIPSTER GIRL||Jason Warren||56kg||N/A|
|20||IN A JIFFY (NZ)||John Sargent||56kg||N/A|
|21||JOYFUL JOURNEY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||56kg||64|
|22||LA STUPENDA||Kerry Parker||56kg||N/A|
|23||LADY MACAN||David Payne||56kg||66|
|27||MAASTRICHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||56kg||77|
|28||MARY QUANT (NZ)||Lance O’Sullivan||56kg||N/A|
|29||MISS INTERIORS||Anthony Cummings||56kg||64|
|31||NAKATAAN (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||56kg||N/A|
|32||NINTH CHANCE||John Sargent||56kg||N/A|
|33||PIPI BEEL (NZ)||Murray Baker||56kg||N/A|
|34||RAINDROPS ON ROSES||Nigel Blackiston||56kg||N/A|
|35||RUSTIC MELODY||Kris Lees||56kg||66|
|36||SAAVOYA (NZ)||Murray Baker||56kg||N/A|
|37||SENSE IN THE CITY||Pat Carey||56kg||N/A|
|38||SET SQUARE||Ciaron Maher||56kg||N/A|
|40||SIGNATURE MISS||Kerry Parker||56kg||N/A|
|41||SLIGHTLY SWEET||Jason Coyle||56kg||86|
|43||SWEET AND SPEEDY||Peter G Moody||56kg||N/A|
|44||SWIFT LADY (NZ)||John Sargent||56kg||65|
|46||TELAAWA||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||56kg||N/A|
|47||THUNDER LADY (NZ)||John Sargent||56kg||97|
|50||VAVASOUR (NZ)||Peter J Williams||56kg||N/A|
|51||VIA CAVOUR||Mark Webb||56kg||N/A|
|53||WINE TALES||Chris Waller||56kg||76|
|54||WINTER SWEET||Gai Waterhouse||56kg||N/A|
|56||ZARZALI||Bart & James Cummings||56kg||66|