Angel Of Mercy’s Queensland Oaks plans are still intact even though she was scratched from today’s Listed $125,000 H Harvey Prestige Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) at the Gold Coast.
Trainer Gerald Ryan withdrew Angel Of Mercy when the track rating remained at a heavy 8 this morning and will send her around at Doomben next week in a 1600m Benchmark 90.
“Angel Of Mercy won’t be running on a heavy track,” Ryan said.
“It won’t upset our plans for the Queensland Oaks, in fact it may benefit her more.”
“She won’t have to back up this week after she won in Sydney last Saturday and she can back up after the Benchmark race into the Doomben Roses instead.”
Ryan decided to give the Hussonet filly her chance to run in the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2 after she started to realise her potential with a game win at Randwick last start.
Angel Of Mercy recorded her second win in the Listed $100,000 Sharp James H B Carr Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last Saturday immediately tempting Ryan to take her to Queensland for the Oaks.
“I always thought she would get up to a mile and a quarter. She’s a three year old filly, she’s entered in the Oaks. If I can find a proper program heading towards it, give her one go as a three year old and then you will know if she can stay or you can freshen her up for the Winter Stakes,” Ryan said after her Randwick win.
With the scratching of Angel Of Mercy, Kiwi filly Miss Artistic has been elevated to favouritism at $3.80 with the Matthew Dun filly Hidden Jewel and Pretty Pins from the powerful John Thompson stable sharing the second line of betting at $5.
The only others runners under double figures are Angelus at $6 and Scorpion Queen at $9.
New Zealand trainer Shaune Ritchie will start Miss Artistic but is a little concerned about her fitness levels on a heavy track at her first run since March 17.
“I’ve had a good look at the track and it won’t be like a heavy track we get back home,” Ritchie said.
“I’m confident she’ll handle it OK but my concern is she’s going into the race with a lack of solid work behind her.”
“She’s a very athletic type and may still get away with it.”
“She’s getting ready for the Queensland Oaks and it’s very difficult to peak a filly twice for Group One races in one season.
“That’s why I’ve been very light on her on the track since she arrived here.”
Miss Artistic was given a short break after winning the Group 1 NZ$300,000 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham but Ritchie gave the Darci Brahma filly a good hit out at Matamata before he loaded her on the plane to Brisbane.
Premiership jockey Chris Munce has picked up the ride on the New Zealand Oaks winner and is keen to get a feel of the filly leading up to the Queensland Oaks.