The good luck of drawing the inside barrier will give favourite Arabian Gold every chance to run out the 2400m of the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Warwick Farm trainer David Vandyke has made no secret of the fact that he considers Arabian Gold suspect over the journey but drawing the rails has boosted his confidence that the Queensland Oaks favourite will get the job done.
“It was important to draw well because I didn’t want her getting bustled and pushed around bit it should work out pretty well the way it is situated,” Vandyke told the Sportsman.
“With the preparation she has had she is going to have every chance to run the race out strongly.”
“The good thing is the speed in the race (Tornado Miss) has drawn barrier two.”
Top Melbourne jockey Craig Newitt has led on Tornado Miss at her last two starts, the latest when third to Arabian Gold in the Group 2 $175,000 XXXX Gold The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 17 and she looks the likely leader again from gate two.
Kiwi filly Sancerre has shown at her two Australian starts that she can also race on the pace but is stepping up dramatically in class after winning a Sunshine Coast Class 1 over 1600m and a last start three lengths wins over 2200m in an Ipswich BenchMark 80 Handicap on May 21.
The Tony Pike trained filly has drawn midfield at eleven and Vinnie Colgan will be looking to take up a forward position while connections of Asadauskaite might decide to go forward again from an outside gate.
All going well Blake Shinn will be able to settle two or three back on the fence on Arabian Gold and wait until the time is right to make his move.
Arabian Gold is chasing her fourth win on the trot and a win in the Queensland Oaks would give Vandyke his first Group 1 success.
The Dubawi filly’s win in The Roses gave her a hat trick after winning twice during the Sydney Autumn Carnival with two wins at Group 3 level over 2000m at Randwick in the $200,000 TAB Adrian Knox Stakes on April 12 and in the $150,000 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate on April 26.
As well as Arabian Gold being above average in the ability department, Vandyke considers her a very smart filly who doesn’t do more than she has to in a race.
He pointed out that the grey filly has won by the exact same margins of 1.3 lengths at her last three wins over the 2000m.
“I don’t think it is a coincidence that her three wins have been by exactly the same margin,” Vandyke said.
“She knows what she is going to do, she gets to the front and says ‘okay, I’ve got this lot beat’ and she just takes the foot off the accelerator but at the same time holds her margin.”
“If you watch the video, you can see her looking back when she gets to the front. She actually turns her head to the side and looks back.”
Arabian Gold has overcome a trackwork scare during the week and has maintained her tight grip on favouritism for the Queensland Oaks with Ladbrokes.com.au marking her at $2.50, well ahead of her next rivals Tinto at $7 and Khutulun at $8.
Kiwi filly Rock Dova is next in the market order at $11 ahead of the Anthony Cummings trained Paris Match at $14 and Raunchy Rocker and Terai both at $15.