Queensland Oaks hopeful Rock Diva will make her Australian debut in the Group 2 $175,000 XXXX Gold The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Rock Diva came up with the visitors drew in The Roses, barrier fourteen, in the sixteen horse field plus one emergency, but Cambridge trainer Tony Pike should not be too worried as the New Zealand filly gets back in her races anyway.
Pike gave Rock Diva a solid hit out in a 1000m barrier trial at Doomben on Tuesday morning and was happy with the way the Lucky Unicorn filly got to the line.
“She trialled at Doomben over 1000 metres to give her a look at the track and she was really good,” Pike told the NZ Racing Desk.
“We rode her out the back door and she went back to last and came home nicely under her own steam.”
Rock Diva scored back to back wins early in the year and after breaking her maiden status over 2100m at Pukekohe Park on February 9, took out the Group 3 NZ$70,000 McKee Family Sunline Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie on March 5.
Pike gave the filly a short ease up after running third to Miss Mossman in the Group 1 NZ$300,000 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 15.
Top Kiwi jockey Leith Innes will again be aboard Rock Diva after riding the filly at her last four outings plus her Doomben barrier trial fourth.
Pike is expecting Rock Diva to be running home at the end of the 2000m which will tighten her up nicely for the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31.
The in-form Arabian Gold has come up with the inside gate and will carry the number one saddle cloth in the The Roses after amassing over $500,000 in prizemoney from seven wins from sixteen starts, including wins at her last two starts.
Saturday’s rider Blake Shinn was aboard when Arabian Gold won the Group 3 $200,000 TAB Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 12 then Damien Oliver piloted the David Vandyke trained filly to a one a quarter lengths win in the Group 3 $150,000 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 26.
Toowoomba filly Tinto and the Mike Moroney trained Asadauskaite finished first and third in the Listed $125,000 H Harvey Prestige Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 3 and both fillies have fared poorly in the barrier draw.
Tinto, with Timothy Bell retaining the ride, has drawn barrier thirteen while Asadauskaite with Damian Browne in the saddle again came up with gate fifteen.
Former New Zealand filly Hera has drawn nicely at four with Jim Cassidy to ride while Tornado Miss from the in-form Tony Gollan stable came up with gate ten with Craig Newitt sticking with the Snitzel filly.