ATC Australian Oaks still on the agenda for Solicit

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 24th, 2014

Flemington training team of Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra are willing to forgive Solicit’s unplaced effort last Friday night at Moonee Valley and will now focus on the Group 1 $1m ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 19.

Solicit, green cap on fence, finished fourth to Marianne, red cap, in Alexandra Stakes.

Solicit, green cap on fence, finished fourth to Marianne, red cap, in Alexandra Stakes. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Ellerton said there were plenty of excuses for Solicit finishing two and a quarter lengths fourth, as the $1.95 favourite, to the Mick Kent trained Marianne in the Listed $120,000 Schweppes Alexandra Stakes (1600m).

“The last place we wanted to be was third on the fence,” Ellerton told AAP.

“As it turned it, the fence was horrible. I think she ran all right.”

Owner David Moodie agreed with Ellerton and is happy to forget the run and move on and take on the three year old fillies in Sydney.

“You just have to forget she went around,” Moodie said.

“She got locked in there and that was the end of it. You shrug your shoulders and move on.

“We’ll throw her in the deep end now.”

Prior to last Friday night Solicit has been unbeaten at her two runs this campaign with comfortable wins in the Group 3 $150,000 The Mittys Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 15 and the Group 2 $220,000 TAB Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 8.

The Street Cry filly will now head to Sydney for the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on April 5 as her final lead up to the ATC Australian Oaks on the second day of ‘The Championships’.

Solicit showed her staying ability as well as her bold front running style when she led up the field in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 7 before being beaten less than half a length when third to Kirramosa and Zanbagh.

With Kirramosa out of the Autumn Carnival because of injury, the Guy Walter trained Zanbagh has made the Crown Oaks form look good with her win in the Group 3 $200,000 Illawarra Mercury Keith F Nolan Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on Sunday.

Solicit and Zanbagh will clash again in the Vinery Stakes along with New Zealand filly Rising Romance in what is shaping up as a dress rehearsal for the ATC Australian Oaks.

Ruakaka trainer Donna Logan set Rising Romance for the ATC Australian Oaks after the Ekraar filly finished second to Puccini in the Group 1 NZ$750,000 TV3 NZ Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 1.

After her win on Sunday, Zanbagh has held her spot at the head of the Ladbrokes.com.au market order for the ATC Australian Oaks at $4 just ahead of Rising Romance at $5 and Solicit at $7.50.

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