Trainer Kim Waugh is confident Oxford Poet is in the right form to break through for a maiden black type win, when he lines up for the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Oxford Poet has undoubtedly been one of the standouts at Waugh’s Wyong stables since his debut racing campaign in 2013, but has been unlucky to finish just off the pace in the minors in each of his two appearances at black type level to date.
Completely luckless in transit but still managing to box on for third in the Listed June Stakes (1100m) at Randwick last time out on June 11th, Waugh has been thrilled with the benefit taken by the Dylan Thomas gelding and believes he is capable of reversing his fortunes in this weekend’s 2016 Civic Stakes.
“They kept kicking inside Oxford Poet and he was trapped three deep,” Waugh told The Daily Telegraph of the horse’s run in the June Stakes.
“The other two (Kuro and Fine Mist) ran third-last and last but he fought on for third, so it was a really good run.
“He will like getting out to 1350m.”
Oxford Poet produced a number of commendable performances through the early stages of his career, but undoubtedly kicked up a gear upon returning to competition in 2015.
Returning for success in the Bob Rowles Tribute BM80 (1200m) on January 11th, Oxford Poet ran third in the talent-rich Blackwoods Bosch Blue (1350m) before a luckless performance for sixth in the Wyong Provincial Championship Qualifier (13540m) on March 5th.
Responding well for second in the Newcastle Provincial Championship Qualifier (1350m) a fortnight later, the gelding out of Oxford Princess produced a particularly classy effort to finish third in the Provincial Championship Final (1400m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
Having returned to the paddock after placing fourth in the More Than Winning BM80 (1200m) at Randwick on September 19th, Oxford Poet placed second in the Wilson Asset Management Handicap (1100m) first-up this time on May 28th.
The 2016 Civic Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday (June 29th).