Brisbane’s leading jockey Jim Byrne is hoping that tough staying filly Kebede can thrust him back into the Group 1 spotlight with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Queensland Oaks has been added to Saturday’s Eagle Farm program after last weekend’s meeting was washed out, and now the re-opening of the track on Stradbroke Handicap Day will see four Group 1 races decided.
As well as the Queensland Oaks, Saturday’s ten race program will feature the $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), the $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) and the $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) for the two year olds.
Byrne admits that he blew his chances of a Group 1 victory when he let the John Thompson trained Hooked get into a speed battle with Fell Swoop and Two Blue in the middle stages of the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 28.
Hooked faded in the straight to finish seventh, five lengths behind the winner Music Magnate, and Byrne copped plenty of criticism for the ride.
But the premiership winning jockey has put that behind him and is expecting a big performance from Kebede in the Queensland Oaks.
“I am not going to beat myself up about it, because if I did that you would never ride winners. I have tried not to dwell on it and I have certainly moved on,” Byrne told The Courier-Mail.
“Kebede now gives me a great chance to win a Group 1.
“I was glad they scrapped the Oaks meeting last Saturday because Kebede is unknown on a heavy, dour track.
Kebede flew into Queensland Oaks calculations when she finished strongly down the middle of the track to win the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Millions The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 21 and Byrne is rating her a better chance than the $13 on offer at Ladbrokes.com.au.
“The bookies keep leaving her out of the market and that is great because at the end of the day there is no real pressure on her,” Byrne said.
“She goes into the race not really fancied that much but I think she is a great chance. I don’t see any downside to coming to Eagle Farm because the big straight is going to be an asset to her.”
In a wide open betting race, the Bjorn Baker trained Imposing Lass heads the market order at $7 just ahead of the Snowden’s filly Falkenberg at $7.50 and Sydney filly Dawnie Perfect at $8.50.
Queensland Oaks market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $7 Imposing Lass, $7.50 Falkenberg, $8.50 Dawnie Perfect, Provocative, $9 Romantic Maid, $11 Chabaud, $12 Ambience, $13 Kebede, Self Esteem, $17 Tavi Bay, $19 Sebring Sally, $23 Tap This, $26 Alaskan Rose, Dulverton, $31 Sahara Siren, Zasorceress, $41 Ashlee Marie, Mount Omei, $51 Queen Of Wands, Zafiki, $81 Meru.