Tough Kiwi filly Bonneval is favoured to win her second Oaks crown when she takes on twelve other fillies in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.
Bonneval is coming off a last start win in the Group 1 NZ$300,000 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 18 and is a firming favourite at $3.50 for the Australian Oaks at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Cambridge trainer Andrew Forsman, who trains in partnership with Murray Baker, said that a win in the Australian Oaks would be a great bonus for Bonneval who had already claimed her Autumn targets of being crowned New Zealand Filly Of The Year after winning the New Zealand Oaks.
“Really the main thing was to try to win Filly Of The Year and the (NZ) Oaks,” Forsman told AAP.
“They were her autumn targets and I guess this would be the icing on the cake.”
Forsman said that Bonneval has pulled up well after her New Zealand Oaks win and thought it was worth their while to bring her over with stablemate Jon Snow who show the New Zealand three year old form to very strong with a win in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick last Saturday.
“She’s very good,” Forsman said.
“We thought it looked like the race was dropping away a bit so we thought it was worth taking her over and having a go.”
Hugh Bowman has picked up the ride on Bonneval who has drawn barrier six in the thirteen horse field.
Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie has also brought his filly Devise across the Tasman in search of a win in the Australian Oaks and will be trying to turn the tables on Bonneval after being placed behind the Makfi filly at her last three starts.
Devise ran third to Bonneval twice in the Group 2 NZ$100,000 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa on February 11 and in the Group 3 NZ$70,000 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings on March 2 before finishing second in the New Zealand Oaks.
Damien Oliver is the new rider on Devise who has drawn just worse than midfield at barrier nine.
Devise is marked at $8.50 alongside of Crown Oaks winner Lasqueti Spirit for the Australian Oaks at Ladbrokes.com.au while Vinery Stud minor placegetters Nurse Kitchen at $5 and Harlow Gold at $5.50 are more prominent in the betting.