Royal Descent to back up in Australian Oaks

Connections of Royal Descent have followed the advice of top Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller and will run the filly in the Group 1 $550,000 ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

royal descent

Royal Descent to back up in the Australian Oaks after an impressive win in the Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Rawiller steered the Chris Waller trained filly to a convincing win in the Group 3 $125,000 Tabcorp Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last Saturday and recommended to connections a start in this week’s Oaks.

“On today’s win I would be having a good look at the Oaks,” Rawiller said after the Adrian Knox win.

“She just seemed to take no ill affect in the run, she basically had a bit of a track gallop early and was really strong in the last 400, just gave me no indication what so ever that she was starting to train off.”

Waller was ready to tip Royal Descent out to the paddock but after Rawiller’s glowing post-race report will run the Redoute’s Choice filly again this week even though the quick back-up is not ideal.

“The quick back-up is not ideal, especially when you are at the end of a preparation like she is but it is a Group 1 race against your own age group and they don’t come around very often,” Waller said.

“She has a much better chance in the race on Saturday than she would if I decided to freshen her up and went to Brisbane in a couple of weeks for the Queensland Oaks.

“She is fit and we know she is in form, it is just whether she can handle the seven-day turnaround.”

Even though Royal Descent won impressively with 59kg, Waller feels that the step up from the Group 3 Adrian Knox to the Group 1 Australian Oaks will be tough.

“You have got to question the form behind her and whether that is going to be up to the form of the Vinery Stud Stakes but only time will tell,” Waller said.

Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stud Stakes  (2000m) winner Norzita has been freshend up with Bart Cummings opting for a start in the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m), but second and third placegetters Longport and Habibi will be among the top chances in the Oaks.

The John Thompson trained Longport has been placed twice from her last three starts and was second to Dear Demi in the Group 2 $175,000 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 9 three starts back.

While Kiwi filly Habibi will prove hard to beat after beating the boys in the Group 1 NZ$750,000 TV3 NZ Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 2.

The Clarry Conners trained Dear Demi is better than her last start Vinery Stud Stakes fifth but will have to quickly bounce back to her best if she wants to add another Oaks trophy to the cabinet after winning the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington in the Spring.

Habibi has jumped to the top of the Oaks markets and has been posted the $3.50 favourite ahead of Dear Demi at $5.50.

Royal Descent is on the next line of betting at $7 ahead of Longport at $9.

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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