David Hayes-trained filly Alzora shot into VRC Oaks (2500m) contention when breaking her maiden status in the Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield today.
It was the ninth start of Alzora’s career and she showed an appreciation for a rise in distance as she settled midfield before assuming the lead in the straight and hanging on to beat Summer Bliss and Transonic.
The daughter of Redoute’s Choice showed she still has improvement ahead of the Oaks, appearing somewhat lost in the straight as Nick Hall guided her across the line.
Hall gave the raw three-year-old a glowing endorsement heading towards the Oaks which will be held at Flemington on November 8.
“She can really stay. She really helps herself, she relaxes,” Hall said.
“I think that’s all you need in an Oaks filly. They’re all a bit untapped but if they can get the distance and relax well I think it helps.”
Hayes pointed to the step up in distance as a key reason for Alzora breaking through today and is excited about her prospects heading towards the Oaks.
“She’s been very unlucky in a couple of maidens. Being a Redoute’s [Choice] filly she’s a stakes winner now and we’re heading towards the Oaks so we’re very excited,” Hayes said.
“She’s bred to really stay and she showed that today.”
Hayes said he would await to assess how she recovers from today’s hit-out before deciding whether she will run in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) on November 3 or go straight into the Oaks.
“If she eats really well we’ll go to the Wakeful because you can see she’s quite green but if we feel she’s fit we’ll go straight to the Oaks,” he said.