Form tells you that Scarlett Lady is the best horse going into the Queensland Oaks tomorrow and her instalment as favourite was inevitable.
There’s no doubt the field is very strong and over 2400m anything could happen, but all things being equal the kiwi is in the best position to cross the line first at Eagle Farm tomorrow.
In fact trainer Graeme Rogerson is so confident that talks back in New Zealand have already been pencilled in on Monday discussing Scarlett Lady’s spring aspirations in Melbourne.
“At this stage she’ll definitely be nominated for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups but we’ll know more whether she’ll go there after she runs in the Oaks,” Rogerson said.
“I couldn’t be any happier with her since she won The Roses and she’ll race very well but there’s no certainties in racing.”
The result of tomorrow’s race will have a direct impact on the discussions in Auckland between Rogerson and owner Max Whitby.
“I’m going straight back to New Zealand after the Oaks and I’ve organised to meet up with Max in Auckland on Monday to discuss her spring campaign and the Melbourne Cup,” Rogerson said.
If they do send Scarlett Lady back in the spring she’ll be trying to follow in the footsteps of one of New Zealand’s best ever, Ethereal.
Ethereal won the 2001 Queensland Oaks and returned to Australia’s shores the same year to win both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.
It was a history making year on other levels as well with Sheila Laxon becoming the first female trainer to win the Melbourne Cup.
Ironically she’ll be one of the main contenders trying to stop Scarlett Lady tomorrow as her horse Crafty Lady is also in the field.
While a win for Scarlett Lady will set her path for a history making spring, just by winning the Queensland Oaks she’ll already join Ethereal in the record books.
Ethereal is currently the only horse which has won The Roses at Doomben and then nabbed the Queensland Oaks as well.
It would be a special moment for Rogerson who has had big winners in Brisbane before but never in any capacity in the Oaks.
“I’ve had a lot of success in Queensland since I was first invited over in 1983 by the then Racing Minister, Russ Hinze,” Rogerson said.
“I won the Stradbroke that year with Brenlaine but I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a runner in the Queensland Oaks.
“I originally planned to run her (Scarlett Lady) in the New Zealand Oaks but she had a setback so we then decided to run her in the autumn back home before targeting this race.”
There’s a chance she could make up one more time for the Queensland Derby as well but that’s a decision that will depend on both her performance in the Oaks and how she pulls up afterwards.
Whatever happens though Rogerson knows he has a potential star in the making and every indication is that she’ll run a strong 3200m if asked.
“She’s not that big but she’s very well put together,” Rogerson said.
“You never know if they will stay until you try them but everything about her points to her staying.
“Her best attribute is she’s so relaxed when she races and she can run on any type of ground.”