A talented and capacity field of 16 plus five emergencies has been confirmed for Saturday’s featured Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben; highlighted by the inclusion of some of the Winter Carnival’s standout three-year-old fillies.
Winx has returned to typically sharp form this time in but will need some luck in running in the 2015 Queensland Oaks after drawing the somewhat awkward barrier 13.
Posting five wins and three minors over eleven competitive starts so far, Winx stamped her claims as one to watch when becoming only the second running to deliver notable filly Earthquake a defeat in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) on Randwick early in her spring preparation.
Returning to the paddock after finishing second to First Seal in each of the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m), the daughter of Street Cry took a couple of runs to find condition upon resuming this time but returned to winning form in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) on March 14th.
Having since places fifth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), second in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) and won the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m), leading hoop Hugh Bowman has been confirmed to take the ride on Winx who will be very hard to beat on Saturday.
Bohemian Lily completed an ideal lead-in to the 2015 Queensland Oaks with success in last weekend’s Group 2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben but was also luckless at Wednesday’s barrier draw when allocated gate 20.
Running no worse than second over four starts this time, the O’reilly filly placed just off the pace of Invinzabeel in the Drummond Golf Maiden (1600m) on April 8th before making a successful transition to black type racing when taking out the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) just over a fortnight later.
Running second to fellow Queensland Oaks acceptor Ballet Suite in the Listed Princess Stakes (2000m) in what was her only other start prior to The Roses, Bohemian Lily is trainer Gai Waterhouse’s only runner in Saturday’s feature and will be partnered by in-form hoop Blake Shinn.
Chris Waller’s second leading chance for success in the Queensland Oaks, Ballet Suite has proven she is more than up to the class of top-level competition but is also drawn terribly in alley 21.
Running fourth in the Vinery Stud Stakes before failing to match the late pace in the Australian Oaks, the daughter of High Chapparal carries winning form into the Oaks and should be right in the finish.
Kiwi Group 1 winner Platinum Witness was unable to make much of an impact in her Australian debut last weekend but is sure to take valuable condition from the run this weekend.
Ending a strong spring preparation with success in both the Listed Armadillo Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas (1600m), Platinum Witness picked-up where she left off when winning the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham first-up on January 24th.
Having since won the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) and finishing a close second to Savaria in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) most notably, the daughter of California Dane gets the trip and will undoubtedly have her chances of success boosted with local hoop Damian Browne aboard.
Noted pace horse Col ‘N’ Lil is sure to find ideal running position from barrier 5, while first emergency Imperial Lass was allocated the rails draw.
Champion Stage (barrier 6), Shandaara (barrier 7), Mine With Lime (barrier 2) and Stewball (barrier 15) have been confirmed as the 2015 Queensland Oaks’ other emergency runners.