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Shorter distance to help Pygmy in Queensland Oaks

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The reduction of the distance from 2400m to the shorter 2200m for the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Brisbane Queensland Oaks at Doomben on Saturday will help the chances of Godolphin’s in-form filly Pygmy.

Tommy Berry, above, rides Pygmy in the Queensland Oaks at Doomben. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Tommy Berry, above, rides Pygmy in the Queensland Oaks at Doomben. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Trainer Darren Beadman said that Pygmy has shown plenty of staying ability with wins over 2000m at her last two starts and the step up to 2200m in the Queensland Oaks will the perfect next step.

“I think the switch from the 2400m at Eagle Farm to the 2200m here could work in her favour,” Beadman said.

“Even though she shows all the signs of being able to run out a good 2400m, she might be a bit more effective at the shorter trip at this stage.

“She’s won really well at her last two at 2000m so it would have been a bigger step up in grade and distance had the race remained at Eagle Farm.”

The distance for the Queensland Oaks was reduced from 2400m to 2200m when Saturday’s entire program was transferred from Eagle Farm to Doomben last Monday.

Racing Queensland ordered the transfer of Saturday’s Queensland Oaks meeting and next week’s Stradbroke Handicap meeting to Doomben after the Eagle Farm track came in for some heavy criticism because of a below par racing surface on Kingsford-Smith Cup Race Day last Saturday.

Pygmy drew the outside barrier in the a nine horse field in the 2000m Class 1 at Kembla Grange on May 2 and Tommy Berry initially took the filly back to the last in the early stages before circling the field at the 1200m to take up the running and went on to record a four and a quarter lengths win.

At her next run over 2000m in a BenchMark 70 Handicap at Hawkesbury, Berry was able to settle Pygmy midfield from barrier two before manoeuvring into the clear approaching the home turn, giving the New Approach filly a clear run to the line to record a one and a half lengths win over the older horses.

But Berry is not going to get any favours in the Queensland Oaks after Pygmy was out of luck at the barrier drew and will jump from the outside gate in the sixteen horse field.

Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have Pygmy listed as a $21 chance after the filly drew the outside gate in the Queensland Oaks while Chris Waller ‘s Group 1 winning filly Egg Tart heads the market order at $3.40 just ahead of The Roses winner Kenedna at $4.80.

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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