Trainer John O’Shea is hoping Ambience can overcome a wide barrier and claim a deserved win in the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Ambience came up with gate twenty-one in the original draw of eighteen plus four emergencies and at best will jump from gate seventeen when the field is brought back to eighteen starters at scratching time on Saturday morning.
“Unfortunately she’s drawn a terrible gate, but there is some rain forecast so it might not be so bad to be out a bit wide,” O’Shea said.
Ambience has already been placed in two Oaks and can improve on her unlucky last start twelfth to Kebede in the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Millions The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 21 when she struck trouble on a couple of occasions.
“She suffered severe interference a couple of times which is very difficult to overcome on a small track like Doomben. On the bigger track here and with some extra ground I expect her to run her usual honest race,” O’Shea said.
James McDonald will ride Ambience again in the Queensland Oaks after the pair combined to win the Group 2 $300,000 Mumm Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival prior to running third to Jameka in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington five days later.
Ambience then continued to show her staying ability when second to Sofia Rosa in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ on April 9.
“She’s done a tremendous job to be Classic-placed twice already, it’s a real tribute to her, to the team and to her sire Street Cry,” O’Shea said.
The one time Queensland Oaks favourite is now rated an $11 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Bjorn Baker trained Imposing Lass and Team Snowden’s filly Falkenberg sharing favouritism at $7 in a very wide netting race.
The Clarry Conners trained Dawnie Perfect also has to overcome a horror barrier after coming up with twenty-two in the original draw and will jump from the extreme outside when the field is reduced to the limit size of eighteen at scratching time on Saturday morning.
Dawnie Perfect is currently marked at $8 alongside of Kiwi filly Romantic Maid from the Roger James stable.
Queensland Oaks market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $7 Falkenberg, Imposing Lass, $8 Romantic Maid, Dawnie Perfect, $9 Provocative, $11 Kebede, Ambience, $12 Chabaud, $13 Self Esteem, $15 Tavi Bay, $17 Sebring Sally, $19 Dulverton, $21 Tap This, $26 Zasorceress, Alaskan Rose, $31 Mount Omei, $34 Sahara Siren, $41 Beluga Blue, Queen Of Wands, $51 Ashlee Marie, Zafiki, $71 Meru.