The 2014 Queensland Oaks field and barrier draw has been released; with dominant favourite Arabian Gold set to jump from the inside gate in the Group 1 event that will be held at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Arabian Gold stamped herself as the favourite for the Queensland Oaks with three straight victories in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m), Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) and the Group 2 The Roses, but sent a scare through his camp after twisting and stepping on a plate before trackwork at Eagle yesterday morning.
Betting was suspended for the Queensland Oaks following the incident, but trainer David Vandyke confirmed that Arabian Gold worked strongly yesterday morning and did not appear to be suffering from any issues.
Rex Lipp-trained Tinto finished a brave second behind Arabian Gold in The Roses and will also jump from the inside of the field after drawing barrier six.
Tinto performed consistently in races like the Listed Gold Edition Plate (1200m) and Gold Coast Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) during his summer campaign before breaking through for her maiden win at Listed level with a narrow victory in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) on May 3.
The highly-rated Hera failed to fire in The Roses, but has been included in the 2014 Queensland Oaks field after impressing trainer Kris Lees with her trackwork in the past week.
Hera (barrier five) was taking strong form into The Roses, after winning the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and Group 2 Tristram Fillies Classic (2000m) in New Zealand before finishing fourth in the Group 3 Carr Stakes (1400m), but was tired badly in the final stages of the Group 2 event.
Lees admits that there is a question mark over the O’Reilly filly running out a strong 2400 metres, but is hopeful that she will produce an improved performance in the Queensland Oaks this weekend.
Also backing up from the Roses will be Tony Gollan-trained Tornado Miss (barrier two), Sister Souss (barrier four), Rock Diva (barrier 23), Moon And The Stars (barrier 15) and Asadauskaite (barrier 18).
David Hayes-trained Star Fashion will be making her Brisbane racing debut in the Queensland Oaks and has performed strongly throughout her autumn campaign.
Star Fashion scored her maiden race win with a dominant six lengths victory in the Geelong Australia Plate (1440m) on February 16 and struggled in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 8 before finding her best form in Adelaide.
The Street Cry filly took out on the colts in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) at Morphettville on April 12 and finished a credible fourth (1800m) before finishing a narrow second behind May’s Dream in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) and second again in the Listed Centaurea Stakes (2006m).
Another filly bringing a different form line into the Queensland Oaks is Gai Waterhouse-trained Raunchy Rocker.
Raunchy Rocker has been unable to score a race win this preparation, but produced an improved performance when stepped up in distance at Scone last start and Waterhouse believes the daughter of Fastnet Rock can give her another win in the Queensland Oaks after taking out the 1998 edition of the race with Zacheline.