Dowager Queen finally showed a little bit of what she could do last start when she ran on to finish third in the Coolmore Flight Stakes behind Streama and Hallowelle Belle.
It was the first time she’s placed on Australian soil after running fourth on two occasions during the Brisbane Winter Carnival, the Sires Produce Stakes and the TJ Smith.
Make no mistake though that the horse is genuinely talented and at one stage trainers Graeme and Debbie Rogerson were serious about a Cox Plate start.
That plan may have been shelved as a result of her not quite reaching that level but it doesn’t mean Group 1’s are off the table.
In fact the word around Dowager Queen now is that she could be a real Crown Oaks prospect.
Jockey Craig Williams was asked to work out whether or not she was the type of horse that could run out 2500m and in his opinion he’s found his Oaks ride.
“They asked me to look at her for the Oaks…she’s not a big horse but she’s a very competitive horse,” he said.
” I’d be very comfortable to her going to the Oaks.”
On paper it seems as if she’s the type of horse that would handle the journey as she likes to get back and switch off before unleashing a run late.
She has the ability to run very quick sectionals over the final 400m, something she showed first up this prep back in New Zealand when she came from a clear last on the turn to win over 1200m at Hastings.
Her first spring run in Australia was in the tea Rose Stakes over 1500m but she was blocked for a run off the turn before getting home in sixth spot.
Her Flight Stakes performance was a far better indication of her ability as she gave up a big start before running home in a clear third.
If she will be a genuine Crown Oaks contender there’s no doubt she has to win this weekend when she goes to the Ethereal Stakes over 2000m
Not only is it a test of distance, she also comes up against a field that she appears to have an edge on in class.
It’s the type of race she really should dominate and Williams thinks that’s every chance to happen after taking her through track work.
“She felt really good going to Melbourne way…she’ll be very hard to beat (at Caulfield) on Saturday,” he said.