Lindsay Park trained mare Sacred Eye has to overcome a horror barrier in the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes Oaks (registered as Australasian Oaks) (2000m) at Morphettville on Saturday but trainer David Hayes is still picking her as the stable’s best chance.
Sacred Eye came up with barrier seventeen in the original draw in the sixteen horse field plus four emergencies but will jump from gate thirteen if all four reserves fail to gain a start.
Even though Sacred Eye has drawn awkwardly, Hayes can see the addition of blinkers and back to a dry racing surface a huge advantage for the High Chaparral filly.
“She is coming back in distance but the blinkers go on,” Hayes said.
“She has got a horror gate. Probably the stable elect and she will improve a lot on top of the ground and just looks fantastic.”
Sacred Eye is the winner of two of her nine race starts which includes a win in the Group 3 $500,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic (2000m) at Caulfield during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
But she was unplaced from three runs over the Sydney Autumn Carnival, including a last start eighth on a rain affected track to Sofia Rosa in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ on April 9.
Jockey Dwayne Dunn will be having his first ride on Sacred Eye and has the job of navigating a winning course from the wide gate.
Hayes, who trains in partnership with Tom Dabernig, will also saddle up Pasadena Girl in the Australasian Oaks.
The former Peter Moody trained filly has had two unplaced runs for Hayes and Dabernig during the Sydney Autumn Carnival but has thrived since returning to their Lindsay Park training complex at Euroa.
The Savabeel filly finished eighth to Zanbagh in the Group 2 $175,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill followed by a thirteenth to Azkadellia in the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Legacy Stakes (Queen Of The Turf Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on April 9.
Pasadena Girl will be stepping up to the 2000m of the Australasian Oaks for the first time, but Hayes said if her trackwork is any indication, she should have no trouble with the extra distance.
“On trial at the distance but her trackwork, when we stretched her out, has been very good and she has really thrived being trained at Lindsay Park for the last three weeks,” Hayes said.
“If she runs the trip she will be right in it because she is very healthy.”
Damian Lane rides Pasadena Girl who drew barrier six in the original draw but could come in two spots if all four emergencies fail to gain a start.
The market order for the Australasian Oaks at Ladbrokes.com.au has Scared Eye marked at $12 while Pasadena Girl is listed as a $19 chance.
The Andrew Noblet trained Silent Sedition heads the betting at $5 just ahead of the unbeaten Abbey Marie at $5.50.
Market order for the Australasian Oaks at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Silent Sedition, $5.50 Abbey Marie, $8 Arcadia Dream, $8.50 Believe, $9.50 Bengal Cat, $12 C’Est Beau La Vie, Sacred Eye, $14 Asinara, $19 Pasadena Girl, $21 Lopartega, $26 First Impressions, Beluga Blue, $34 Comprendre, Camari, Artesian, She’s Got Speed, Jacqui’s Joy, $41 Riverina Bella, $51 Street Spun, $91 The Grey Flash.