Outside hope Rock Robster is ready to pounce should anything happen to odds-on favourite Streama in Saturday’s $550,000 Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse.
Streama was as short as $1.60 in the betting markets yesterday and Rock Robster trainer David Hayes admits she will be tough to beat but believes his horse will be in with a chance if anything unexpected happens to the race favourite.
“If something goes wrong with Streama then Rock Robster is in with an each-way chance,” Hayes said.
The distance won’t trouble the Fastnet Rock filly who won the Tasmanian Oaks (2100m) in late February and finished runner-up at the 2400 metre Oaks distance in the Galilee Final at Mornington last start.
“Her form is good enough for her to run and she does run a mile-and-a-half,” Hayes said.
Who will actually line up in the feature event is still unknown but it is expected less than 10 horses will be named when the final field is announced tomorrow.
Australian Turf Club Manager Colin Tuck said the field could be as small as seven runners, with predicted wet conditions and some tough recent racing likely to impact on numbers.
“At this stage we are looking at probably seven or eight runners,” Tuck said.
One horse who will definitely line up alongside Streama and Rock Robster in the classy stayer’s event is in-form filly Full Of Spirit whose connections yesterday paid a late entry fee.
Part of leading New Zealand trainer Roger James’ stable, the talented daughter of Flying Spur is chasing a third consecutive victory and impressed on the weekend with a one-length win in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes in her first race on Australian soil.
The Oaks is one of the feature races on exciting Randwick card this weekend that is headed by the prestigious Doncaster Mile.
Classy Gai Waterhouse mare More Joyous and last year’s Epsom winner Secret Admirer are currently battling it out for favouritism in the $2 million event.