Cambridge trainer Tony Pike is hoping to sneak his up and coming filly Sancerre into the Queensland Oaks with another win at the local provincials.
Sancerre was a comfortable two and a half lengths winner with Leith Innes in the saddle over 1600m in a Class 1 at the Sunshine Coast on May 11 and Pike is hoping that another restricted class win at Ipswich next week will earn the O’Reilly filly enough prizemoney to gain a start in the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31.
Pike will nominate Sancerre for the BenchMark 80 over 2150m at Ipswich next Wednesday and if she could add the winner’s cheque of $11,050 to her earnings of $14, 332, she could have a good chance of joining her stablemate Rock Diva in the fillies classic.
“I hope she can win again at Ipswich over 2150m to sneak into the Oaks field, but it will be touch and go with her level of prize money,” Pike told the NZ Racing Desk.
“Sancerre won a lowly race at the Sunshine Coast, but it was a nice, soft win and she’ll improve a lot.”
“The trip is doing her the world of good as she’s still very new to the game.”
Sancerre is lightly raced with two wins from four starts and she showed early potential with a first up win over 1200m at Avondale.
If Sancerre did gain a start in the Queensland Oaks, she would have a chance to emulate her dam Vouvray who proved herself the best filly in 2004 with Chris Munce aboard.
Rock Diva gets a chance to lay down her Queensland Oaks claims when she lines up in the Group 2 $175,000 XXXX Gold The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Rock Diva is having her first start since running third to Miss Mossman in the Group 1 NZ$300,000 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 15.
Pike gave the Little Unicorn filly a barrier trial over 1000m at Doomben on Tuesday to tune her up for her Australian debut on Saturday.
Pike also sent his Stradbroke Handicap hopeful Sacred Star around in the Doomben barrier trials on Tuesday and the Flying Spur four year impressed with a win over local speedster Adebisi over 840m.
Sacred Star is likely to make his Brisbane Winter Carnival debut in the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Millions QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on May 31 before backing up the following week in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm.