Top New Zealand trainer Roger James describes Full Of Spirit as “one tough filly” as he prepares to line her up in the Group 1 $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick tomorrow.
Full Of Spirit is backing up in a week after taking out the Group 3 $125,000 Patinack Farm Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, but James is not perturbed.
The Flying Spur filly only arrived in Australia less than three days before winning at Randwick and James said the way she was jumping out of her skin on Monday, he had no concerns about backing her up in the Oaks.
“She is one tough filly. I’ve bought over a hundred horses to Australia over the years and I can’t remember bringing a horse over that has lobbed in here and just done what she has,” James said.
“When she was out for pick on Monday she just exploded, she reared and squealed and is just right on top of her game.”
James has always felt that Full Of Spirit was a high class filly and is ready to take on smart filly Streama who is heading the Oaks betting at the short odds of $1.55.
Top Kiwi jockey James McDonald will again be aboard Full Of Spirit who is second favourite at $5.50.
James is glad he was able to convince her owners to make the trip to Sydney instead of the South Island which was the original plan for the filly.
“She was going to the South Island to get some black type at the end of her three year old career and I recommended this race to the owners,” James said.
“I said it would be an eighteen horse field ridden by a bunch of cowboys, you’ll get knocked over five times in the race, and I don’t think it would be any easier.”
“It would be a small field over here and probably not a lot stronger.”
As it turned out the field fell away to only eight acceptors and with the absence of boom filly Mosheen, the task looks a little bit more inviting.
With the exception of the David Hayes trained Rock Robster, all the fillies are stepping up to the 2400m for the first time and James said that he was confident his filly would handle it.
“On a track to her liking, that’s dead to slow, I don’t think 2400m is a concern,” he said.
“Over 2400m we’ll race a lot handier than last week and if ever I could back one up in a week. She is the one.”
Trainer Guy Walter also said that the 2400m is an unknown, but his filly Streama has the class to help her handle the extra distance.
The Stratum filly is the winner of five from twelve and showed her class in scoring by six and a quarter lengths in the Group 1 $400,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last October.
And she found the line strongly at her most recent run with a fast finishing second to Mosheen in the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on April 7.
Walter will saddle up three runners in the Oaks and as well as Streama has Lightens and Colourist making up the numbers.