Trainer John O’Shea is giving Crown Oaks placegetter Ambience a longshot chance to win the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Ambience is rated as one of the outsiders of the field at $41 with Ladbrokes.com.au but O’Shea can’t fault her heading into the second day of ‘The Championships’.
“There are no issues, no problems, she worked nicely over 1600m at Warwick Farm on Tuesday morning,” O’Shea said.
“We were happy with that, and she goes into the race as an Oaks placegetter.”
While Ambience has been unplaced at three runs this campaign, the Street Cry filly showed her class during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival with a win in the Group 2 $300,000 Mumm Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington followed by a third behind Jameka and Honesta in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington again five days later.
“She’s shown she can be competitive in this class and at this distance, which is relevant for young fillies,” O’Shea said.
Ambience kicked off her Australian Oaks campaign with an eighth to stablemate Ghisoni in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 27 followed by a fifth to Single Gaze in the Group 3 $200,000 Arrowfield Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on March 11.
Then at her latest outing Ambience was beaten five and a half lengths when tenth to Single Gaze again in the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 26.
“There’s been nothing wrong her lead-ups,” O’Shea said.
The prospect a rain affected surface is giving O’Shea some extra confidence with the filly’s wet track record having her winning on a soft track and being placed on the heavy.
“She likes to get her toe in and there’s every chance she’ll get to do that on Saturday,” O’Shea said.
The Randwick track was rated a soft 6 on Thursday afternoon and with showers forecast for Sydney in the lead up to the weekend, there is still a strong possibility that there will be plenty of moisture left in the ground.
Crown Oaks winner Jameka is on top of the Australian Oaks market order at $3.50 and is backing up in a week after running second to Kiwi three year old Tavago in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick last Saturday.
On the second line of betting is Vinery Stud Stakes third placegetter Happy Hannah at $4.60 ahead of the three New Zealand fillies Capella at $8 and Valley Girl and Sofia Rosa who are sharing the $8.50 mark.
Australian Oaks market Order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Jameka, $4.60 Happy Hannah, $8 Capella, $8.50 Sofia Rosa, Valley Girl, $11 Honesta, $14 Single Gaze, $19 Sacred Eye, $31 Alaskan Rose, Diamond Made, $34 Self Esteem, $41 Chabaud, Ambience, $51 Believe, $101 Zasorceress, Aurora’s Star.