Queensland Oaks favourite Arabian Gold is suspect at running the 2400m of the fillies’ classic at Eagle Farm on Saturday but is still the one to beat according to her trainer David Vandyke.
Arabian Gold made it three wins on the trot over 2000m when she scored an easy one and a quarter lengths win in the Group 2 $175,000 XXXX Gold The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 17.
And even though Vandyke thinks the Dubawi filly might have problems running out a strong 2400m, he can still see her as being the filly to beat in the race.
“I think on form she’ll be hard to beat, despite the fact she can’t get a strong 2400m in my opinion,’’ Vandyke told The Daily Telegraph.
Arabian Gold scored twice at Group 3 level over 2000m at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival in the $200,000 TAB Adrian Knox Stakes on April 12 and in the $150,000 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate on April 26.
Vandyke said that The Roses was the only definite Winter Carnival race he had pencilled in and was prepared to wait and see how she ran before confirming a start in the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m).
“The Roses was the race we set her for, and the Oaks was only a consideration if she won the Roses,’’ Vandyke said.
Vandyke considers Arabian Gold’s run in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington in the Spring when four and a half lengths sixth to Kirramossa as a good pointer to Saturday’s Oaks.
“Her run in the VRC Oaks last spring was fair. She was beaten just over four lengths, and that performance would make her hard to beat in the Queensland Oaks,” Vandyke said.
And the fact that it will be the last time to run over 2400m against the fillies this season is also an incentive for the Warwick Farm trainer to send her around.
“It’s a Group 1,’’ Vandyke said.
“She’s reaching the end of her three-year-old career and as a four-year-old she’ll be up against a different level of horse.
“She’ll be up against Europeans, so the difference between Saturday’s 2400m and any other 2400m she runs in the rest of her career will be fairly significant.”
Arabian Gold heads the Queensland Oaks market order with Ladbrokes.com.au at $2 with New Zealand fillies Telepathic ($6.50) and Rock Diva ($7) the next in the betting.
Toowoomba filly Tinto finished second to Arabian Gold in the Roses and is an $8 chance ahead of Rezoned at $10 and Khutulun and Raunchy Rocker at $11.
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