Trainer Robert Smerdon is confident that promising filly Every Faith will be competitive in the 2014 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Every Faith made a slow start to her autumn preparation, but broke through for her maiden win at black type level in the Listed Laelia Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on March 29 and was far from disgraced against strong fields in the Group 3 Schweppervescence Stakes (1800m) on April 12, the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) on April 26 and the Group 3 South Australian Fillies Classic (2500m) on May 10.
Smerdon told Racing Ahead that Every Faith would arrive in Brisbane tomorrow and said that he is happy with the condition of the Not A Single Doubt filly heading into the Queensland Oaks this weekend.
“Every Faith goes up tonight for the Oaks on Saturday,” Smerdon said.
“She has held her condition really well and the extra weeks break off the South Australian Classic, where she ran third, has really worked to her advantage.
“She went to Sandown this morning and had a gallop reverse way and seems to have adapted really well.”
Arabian Gold is a dominant favourite in 2014 Queensland Oaks betting markets, but she sent a scare through her camp when she twisted and stood on a shoe before she completed trackwork at Eagle Farm this morning.
Smerdon admits that Arabian Gold looks very difficult to beat, but is hopeful that she may struggle to run out a strong 2400 metres after she failed to fire in her only previous start over the trip in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival – a race in which she was beaten home by Every Faith.
“I know that David Vandyke’s filly looks the dominant filly, but there might be a chink in her armor over 2400 and our filly was pretty strong over 2400 metres the other day,” Smerdon said.
“Hopefully that is enough to put her in the race and I think that after the Vandyke filly it drops away pretty quickly, so she is competitive with the rest of them.”
Smerdon is chasing his first win in the Queensland Oaks after previously missing the placings with Red Typhoon (sixth behind Quintessential in 2012) and Lady Have A Heart (18th behind Triumphal Queen in 1989).