In a Group 1 field of just 11 every trainer would be feeling confident going into today’s Crown Oaks considering Atlantic Jewel isn’t among them.
That’s especially the case for David Hayes who has two chances of winning the million dollar race.
Surprisingly he’s not actually the most represented trainer either with Mick Kent producing three runners in search of the Crown Oaks title.
For Hayes though his hopes rest with Roma Giaconda and exciting up and comer Flame Of Lanka.
Both horses are double figure chances with the bookies but Hayes is expecting them to be right there at the pointy end of the race.
Flame Of Lanka is considered the rougher of his chances but he’s quietly confident she can run a big race over 2500m at just her fourth race start.
“She’s very fit and on the dam side she’s bred to stay, Redoutes Choice has had the odd mile and a half horse too,” he said.
“I can see her travelling in the first three or four, travelling easy and having a good turn of foot.”
Flame Of Lanka comes into the race after running on for fourth at Moonee Valley over 1600m, previous to that winning her maiden over 1400m at Morphettville.
Roma Giaconda was to be Hayes main chance but she was disappointing when eighth over 2000m at Caulfield on October 15.
Prior to that she’d looked good when running on for fifth in the Group 1 Flight Stakes mile race and second to Manawanui in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes over 1500m.
“I don’t know, I was a bit disappointed with her last run,” Hayes said.
The one big plus he feels is on his side is that they diverted from the Wakeful Stakes.
While it’s the main form race and one that has a habit of producing the Oaks winner, Hayes feels it just as often flattens an otherwise solid Oaks prospect.
His horses have had at least two weeks off for their last runs and he feels that freshness may give them an edge.
Dowager Queen is the favourite for the 2011 Crown Oaks while Mosheen and Rahveel are also prominent in the market.