Darley number one jockey Kerrin McEvoy has no doubt that improving filly Terai will handle the step up to Group 1 company in the $400,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Terai has won two from eight starts and McEvoy was very impressed with her last start win against the older horses over 1900m in a BenchMark 75 at Canterbury on May 14.
“Some of these Oaks can have a long tail to them and she is in winning form,” McEvoy told the Sportsman.
“It’s probably worth throwing the dice, she is in good form and it’s going to be the last black type race she races in as a three year old.”
McEvoy is expecting further improvement stepping up to the 2400m of the Queensland Oaks and said the Teofilo filly gave him a good feel at Canterbury.
“She was always going to get better as she gets up in trip and if they are placing and winning when they aren’t at their best trip it bodes well,” McEvoy said.
“She has pleased everyone since her win at Canterbury. I don’t ride her trackwork but I saw her the other morning and she looks a picture.”
Bookmakers agree with McEvoy and Ladbrokes.com.au have Terai fairly safe in the Queensland Oaks market order at $15 against some well performed fillies from Australia and New Zealand.
Sydney filly Arabian Gold heads the betting at $2.50 as she attempts to string together four wins on the trot after winning twice at Group 3 level at Randwick over 2000m in the $200,000 TAB Adrian Knox Stakes on April 12 and in the $150,000 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate on April 26.
And then she scored a dominant win in the Group 2 $175,000 XXXX Gold The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 17.
On the second line of betting at $7.50 is the Rex Lipp trained Tinto who ran Arabian Gold to one and quarter lengths when second in The Roses while the Luke Oliver trained Khutulun is the only other runner under double figures at $8.
Kiwi filly Rock Diva is marked at $11 after making up some ground when sixth in The Roses while stablemate Sancerre could be a surprise packet at $17 following her three lengths wins in a 2200m BenchMark 80 Handicap at Ipswich on May 21.