Trainer Matthew Dunn is uncertain how top Queensland Oaks fancy Kebede will handle the new Eagle Farm track if the predicted downpour arrives on Saturday.
Kebede raced into contention for the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) with an impressive win in the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Millions The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 21 a fortnight ago.
The Redoute’s Choice filly climbed up the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au and is currently marked at $11 in a wide open betting race that has the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Falkenberg as the $6.50 favourite.
Even though Kebede won a 1400m Class 1 at the Gold Coast on a Soft 5 track, Dunn is not sure how she would handle anything wetter.
“I doubt my filly would want a really wet track as she is a big strider,” Dunn told AAP.
“Often you can’t predict the weather but it would be nice to know exactly what we are facing.”
The Bureau Of Meteorology has forecast showers on Friday in the Brisbane region followed by thunderstorms and heavy rain on Saturday, with up to 100mm predicted in some areas.
Brisbane’s leading jockey Jim Byrne has been the regular rider for Kebede this campaign and gets the mount again and Dunn can see the filly getting a similar run from barrier five that she got when she raced just off the pace before winning The Roses.
“She is drawn to get a similar run this time just behind the pace from barrier five,” Dunn said.
“But we will have to see how the track is playing. If the fence is a no-go zone we will have to come up with another plan.”
Dunn has virtually ruled out a Spring campaign for Kebede but won’t make a final decision until after the Queensland Oaks.
“She won her maiden this campaign. I don’t want to be pushing her because I think eventually she will be a horse who can get a Cups-type distance,” he said.
“They don’t come along too often and there is always next year if we decide to give her a longer spell than usual.”
Queensland Oaks market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6.50 Falkenberg, $7 Imposing Lass, $8 Romantic Maid, Dawnie Perfect, $9 Provocative, $11 Kebede, Ambience, $13 Chabaud, Self Esteem, $15 Tavi Bay, $17 Sebring Sally, $19 Dulverton, $21 Tap This, $26 Zasorceress, Alaskan Rose, $31 Mount Omei, $34 Sahara Siren, $41 Beluga Blue, Queen Of Wands, $51 Ashlee Marie, Zafiki, $71 Meru.