Jockey Damian Browne is confident that Queensland Oaks fancy Falkenberg can run the distance of the 2400m fillies’ classic even though she is bred to be a sprinter.
Falkenberg is a full sister to 2008 Golden Slipper winner Sebring, being by More Than Ready out of the Flying Spur mare Purespeed but Browne said that co-trainer Peter Snowden was also of the opinion that she had plenty of staying ability.
“I don’t have any doubts that she will run the mile and a half at all and so does Peter (Snowden),” Browne told Radio TAB.
“Peter knows her better than anybody. He said that she is just a dour stayer and she gives me that feel too.”
Browne has been aboard the Peter and Paul Snowden trained filly at her last two starts and but said today that the owners have opted for a change of rider in the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 4.
Browne has had little luck on the filly when fourth to Imposing Lass in the Listed $125,000 All-New Jaguar XE Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 7 and then she missed the start badly last Saturday before running home to finish seventh to Kebede in the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Millions The Roses (2000m) at Doomben.
“I would love to ride her, but unfortunately we have had a couple of goes and haven’t had much luck so the owners have chosen to go with somebody else and I understand that,” Browne said.
“She was kicking the back of the gates that day (at the Gold Coast). She was a little bit on the fresh side and the run did her the world of good and she was a lot more relaxed the other day and I thought she was going to jump well but she just got into this other little trait and hopefully she doesn’t keep doing it.”
Falkenberg was last to leave the barriers in The Roses when she had her hind leg on the barrier partition and then failed to get into a nice rhythm for the remainder of the race.
“It was a pretty messy start,” Browne said.
“She was getting her foot up on the side partition a couple of times prior to jumping and then just before we jumped she got her foot again up on the side partition. She had it there when the barriers opened and she was probably lucky to stand up when she came out.”
“She came out very awkward indeed and put us in a position we really didn’t want to be in.”
“It was very messy run race and we struck a little bit of interference when Ambience was checked at the 1500m and she came back in my lap again and again later on down the back we were put in restricted room.”
“Nothing went right for her right through the whole race and for her to still run on and only be beaten three lengths was an outstanding run.”
“I am very sure in the Oaks the race will be run a little different to that and she will get into a good rhythm then.”
In an early market order for the Queensland Oaks at Ladbrokes.com.au, Falkenberg is sharing the third line of betting $9 with the Clarry Conners trained Dawnie Perfect and last start Randwick winner Romantic Maid.
The Bjorn Baker trained Imposing Lass heads the market order at $7 ahead of the Kiwi filly Provocative at $8.
Early market order for the Queensland Oaks at Ladbrokes.com.au: $7 Imposing Lass, $8 Provocative, $9 Romantic Maid, Dawnie Perfect, Falkenberg, $11 Ambience, Self Esteem, Kebede, $13 Chabaud, Chandana, Tavi Bay, $15 Downton Abbey, Fanatic, $17 Dulverton, Sacred Eye, Tap This.