Oriental Lady will have the chance to record a maiden black type win in the 2015 Australia Day Cup at Royal Randwick tomorrow and trainer Kris Lees is delighted with the condition of the talented mare heading into the Listed event.
Oriental Lady started her summer campaign with an unlucky effort in the December Handicap (1550m) at Canterbury on December 27 and she quickly returned to her best form with a second place finish behind Midsummer Sun in the Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) at Gosford on January 9.
Lees told TVN that he was thrilled with the performance of Oriental Lady in the Gosford Cup and he believes that the Doyen mare is capable of returning to winning form when she steps up to 2400 metres in the Australia Day Cup.
“She ran super at Gosford, possibly even a little better than we thought she might and had she got a cart into the race she would probably have won,” Lees said.
“She had a really good prep last time in work when she kept on improving and she seems to have improved again.
“It’s an even race tomorrow with a stack of chances of which she is one
“She’s a natural stayer and the 2400-metres will suit.”
Oriental Lady started her racing career in Germany in July of 2012 and she was purchased by Australian Bloodstock at the end of 2013 after performing competitively at Group level in races like the Group 2 Diana Trial (2011m).
She made her Australian racing debut with two fair performances at Randwick and Canterbury before she stamped herself as a mare to watch with a dominant seven and a half lengths win at Newcastle on June 24 and she went on to record back-to-back wins in Sydney.
Oriental Lady was given a maiden opportunity at Listed level in Australia when she finished eighth behind Greatwood in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 30 and she was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m), but could finish no better than eighth.
Lees has always been of the opinion that Oriental Lady is capable of being a consistent performer at Group level in Australia and he said that he will be giving her every possible opportunity to compete at the highest level this autumn.
“We will continue to raise the bar for her and she will tell us just how far she can go,” Lees said.
“With these progressive, improving stayers, you just don’t know how far they might get and she is a good example of that.”
Oriental Lady has been the best backed runner in 2015 Australia Day Cup betting markets and she is into a quote of $4 to take out the Listed event.