Consistent mare Oasis Bloom will have her final chance to earn a start in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) when she contests the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes(2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Herbert Power Stakes offers the winner ballot-exempt entry into the Caulfield Cup field and Oasis Bloom is one of several horses whose only chance of earning a start in the $2.5 million race is to win this weekend.
Qualifying for the Caulfield Cup has always been the major 2013 Spring Racing Carnival goal for the daughter of Al Maher and trainer Peter Morgan admits that he has not thought about any other options for the five-year-old.
“If we don’t win, I haven’t thought beyond Saturday,” Morgan told AAP.
“There is no Plan B so I hope we can get there.”
Oasis Bloom has raced inconsistently this preparation; finishing seventh in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) and ninth in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) before returning to her best form with a fabulous second behind glamour mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m).
The five-year-old finished fifth behind Mourinho in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on September 27 but had plenty of excuses after struggling to find clear running in the final stages of the race.
Morgan believes that Oasis Bloom took plenty of improvement out of the unlucky run and is ready to perform strongly in the Herbert Power Stakes this weekend – if she can handle her first ever attempt at 2400 metres.
“She’s a big horse and shouldn’t have been near the fence – she likes to race with a bit of room,” Morgan said.
“But if she gets a mile-and-a-half she’ll be hard to beat, she’s improved since that race.
“That’s the only doubt, whether she’ll get the mile-and-a-half, but she’s a lot fitter and will be in a lot better order than she was for her last run.”
Oasis Bloom isn’t the only runner in the Herbert Power Stakes field that needs to win to qualify for the Caulfield Cup; with Tanby, Kesampour, Moudre, Motivado, Let’s Make Adeal , Sea Moon and Goldoni all outside the top eighteen in the 2013 Caulfield Cup order of entry.