Trainer Anthony Cummings has revealed that he is thrilled with 2014 Queensland Oaks barrier draw for Paris Match and believes that the talented filly is a genuine winning chance in the Group 1 event at Eagle Farm this weekend.
Paris Match has been plagued by wide draws in her three starts at Group level during her autumn campaign, but has been able to overcome those poor gates to perform competitively in the Group 3 Keith Nolan Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on March 23 and the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 before finishing a narrow third in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 3.
Cummings told Racing Ahead that he has been happy with each of Paris Match’s runs this preparation and is confident that the daughter of Street Cry will receive a nice run into the Queensland Oaks from barrier nine on Saturday.
“I am happy with the gate, that is probably the best gate that she has drawn in her last eight starts, and Nash is the right bloke to make full advantage of that,” Cummings said.
“In all those runs she drew the outside gate and for the most part she travelled three and four deep and faced the breeze in a few.
“While she did get in a couple of times, it was after she had done plenty of work and all of those efforts were better than they looked on paper.
“Hopefully now with a better gate and a big more luck in the run she gets to show herself properly because her form is around the two favourites for the Oaks.”
Paris Match came from the tail of the field to finish second in the Gold Coast Bracelet, but has shown plenty of tactical versatility during her racing career to date and was pushed forward after being caught wide early in the Adrian Knox Stakes.
Cummings said that he is not particularly concerned about where Paris Match is settled in the early in the Queensland Oaks, but believes that the three-year-old is capable of being positioned in the first half of the field.
“I am not really fussed about that, but I think that her natural racing pattern, based on what she has been doing, puts her in the first half of the field from that gate,” Cummings said.
“I haven’t seen the full field yet and we will have a look at the relevant speeds and things, but on first thought I think that is where she might be.”
Paris Match is currently available at 2014 Queensland Oaks odds of $14; with David Vandyke-trained Arabian Gold still a clear favourite at a quote of $2.50.