Premier jockey Chris Munce has been called upon to assess the Queensland Oaks chances of Kiwi filly Poste Restante when he rides her in the Group 3 $125,000 Mittys Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday.
New Zealand trainer Howard Matthews had also nominated his filly for the 1600m Benchmark 90 Handicap but has decided to run Poste Restante against the three year olds in the Rough Habit.
“She’s also entered for a Benchmark race but she’ll be better suited against her own age in the Rough Habit,” Matthews said.
Matthews was pleased with the filly’s work on Saturday morning and snapped up Munce to ride her on Saturday and will take heed of his assessment heading towards the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2.
But Matthews will be searching for another jockey if Munce gives the go ahead towards the Oaks as he is already booked to ride the New Zealand Oaks winner Miss Artistic in the Queensland Oaks.
Munce was aboard Miss Artistic last Saturday when she made up a ton of ground when fourth to Scorpio Queen in the Listed $125,000 H Harvey Prestige Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) at the Gold Coast and is set to stick with her in the Queensland Oaks.
Poste Restante has only won two times from twelve starts but Matthews was quite taken with her run in the Group 1 NZ$300,000 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 17 when fourth to Miss Artistic and decided on a trip to Brisbane.
“Her run in the New Zealand Oaks was outstanding,” Mathews said.
“She got a long way back and was about 25 lengths from the leader on the home turn.”
“She also copped a bump on the corner and possibly should have finished third.”
“If she goes well she’ll go to The Roses and then the Queensland Oaks.”
Matthews said that his filly took a few days to settle into her new surroundings but has picked up and she will be fit and well for the Rough Habit.
“She was like most horses who first come over here and didn’t eat up well for the first few days,” Mathews said.
“But she’s picked up a lot and I was so impressed with her work at Doomben on Saturday I decided to throw in a nomination for the Rough Habit.”
The Otaki trainer has only made a handful of trip to Queensland but did take home the 1989 Group 1 Brisbane Cup (3200m) trophy courtesy of Coshking who went onto be unplaced in that year’s Melbourne Cup.
“I brought Coshking across to Australia three times the year he won the Brisbane Cup,” Matthews said.
“He went to Sydney the first time and ran second to Palace Revolt in the Sydney Cup before he went home and came back over and won the Brisbane Cup.”
“Then he went home again and came back for the Melbourne Cup but he was an also-ran behind Tawrrific.”
Poste Restante hasn’t raced since finishing second in the Group 3 $70,000 Higgins Manawatu Classsic (2000m) at Awapuni behind Malandrino who is also nominated for the Rough Habit.
The Rough Habit has attracted twenty-one nominations and includes Robert Heathcote’s last start Eagle Farm winner Trump and the John Thompson trained Isopach who is coming off some fair Sydney Autumn Carnival form.
The Magic Albert three year old ran a nice third to Polish Knight in the Group 2 $175,000 Myer Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on April 7 then wasn’t disgraced when fourth to the Gai Waterhouse trained Fat Al in the Group 3 $125,000 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 28.