Promising staying filly Honesta will kick off her Australian Oaks campaign when she lines up in an 830m Randwick barrier trial on Friday.
Honesta was sent for a spell after running second to Jameka in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival and trainer John Thompson is delighted with the way she has returned to his Randwick stables.
“Honesta, she is going great,” Thompson told Racing And Sports.
“She is in great shape and she has taken no ill effects from last preparation. She looks good.”
Thompson will monitor Honesta’s trial and then decide if he goes straight to the Group 2 $175,000 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 13 or trials her again instead and then head to the Group 2 $400,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill the following week.
“We will decide after this trial whether we run in the Light Fingers over 1200m or we give her another trial and skip the 1200m and go straight to the 1400m,” Thompson said.
Her main Autumn Carnival goal will be the Group 1 $1m Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 9, the second day of ‘The Championships’.
Thompson was very impressed with the way Honesta came through a tough 2015 Spring Carnival and even though she failed to win a race at Group level, the grey filly recorded four consecutive seconds in top company.
As well as running second in the Crown Oaks, Honesta was runner up in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) both at Randwick, and in the Group 3 $150,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.
“She came through the grades very well,” Thompson said.
“She was very consistent. Very tough the whole way through and she has a good race in her and hopefully it is this preparation for the owners.”
Honesta is currently sharing the second line of betting for the Australian Oaks with Kiwi filly Risque at $9 behind Crown Oaks winner Jameka who is the early favourite at $6.