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Plenty of positives for Australian Oaks fancy Happy Hannah

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Improving filly Happy Hannah has plenty of positives going for her as she prepares to line up in the Group 1 $1m James Boags Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on the day two off ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.

Blake Shinn will ride Happy Hannah in the Australian Oaks at Randwick. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

Blake Shinn will ride Happy Hannah in the Australian Oaks at Randwick. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

The lightly raced Happy Hannah will be facing the starter for only the sixth time but earned her place in the Australian Oaks field with an eye catching third behind Oaks rivals Single Gaze and Valley Girl in the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 26.

Co-trainer Paul Snowden told AAP that the More Than Ready filly has trained on well since the Vinery Stud Stakes and she has plenty of things in her favour heading towards Saturday.

“She’s trained on well, she’s drawn a middle gate, it’s a big field, she handles (rain-affected) conditions – she’s got a lot going for her,” Paul Snowden said.

“The run was excellent.”

“Going forward into an Oaks it’s just what you want to see.”

Blake Shinn takes the ride again after being aboard Happy Hannah at her last two starts and the filly is certain to get a good run from barrier seven.

Snowden, who trains in partnership with his father Peter, said the prospect off a rain affected track won’t worry the emerging stayer who has plenty of stamina in her breeding, being out of the Zabeel mare Absolute Joy, who was also placed three times on a rain affected surface.

The Randwick track was upgraded to a Soft 6 on Thursday morning with track manager Nevesh Ramdhani now keeping a close eye on the weather over the next couple of days.

The Sydney forecast leading into the weekend is for a possible shower or two and any more rain would still see some moisture in the ground for Saturday.

“There’s a bit of rain about later this week,” Ramdhani said.

“But the chance of rainfall has reduced since earlier in the week so it will be interesting to see what happens.”

“There is still a bit of give in certain parts of the track but the sunshine today will certainly help bring it back into the soft range for Saturday, possible even the better side of a soft providing we miss most of the rain.

“It will mostly depend on what happens on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.”

Happy Hannah is on the second line of betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Australian Oaks at $4.60, just behind Crown Oaks winner Jameka at $3.50.

Team Snowden will also saddle up $34 chance Self Esteem (barrier 13) with Mark Zahra to ride.

The three New Zealand fillies are also well up the market order with Capella at $8 and Valley Girl and Sofia Rosa sharing the next line of betting at $8.50.

Australian Oaks market Order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Jameka, $4.60 Happy Hannah, $8 Capella, $8.50 Sofia Rosa, Valley Girl, $11 Honesta, $14 Single Gaze, $19 Sacred Eye, $31 Alaskan Rose, Diamond Made, $34 Self Esteem, $41 Chabaud, Ambience, $51 Believe, $101 Zasorceress, Aurora’s Star.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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