The ex-Darren Weir trained Voodoo Lad heads the weights with 58kg for the 2019 Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have taken over the training of the seven year old who won his maiden Group 1 under Weir in the $1m Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot during the 2018 – 2019 Perth Racing Carnival.
Voodoo Lad has had one run for Maher and Eustace for a first up fourth to Nature Strip in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 9.
First up specialist Viddora has been allocated the equal second top weight of 57kg for the Oakleigh Plate alongside of three times Group 1 winner Shoals who is also resuming from a spell
Viddora has only missed a place once from nine first up attempts with three wins, four seconds and a third and trainer Lloyd Kennewell is expecting another solid first up performance in the Group 1 sprint on the weekend.
Kennewell said an overseas campaign is in the pipeline for Viddora who is chasing a third Group 1 victory after wins in the Winterbottom Stakes during the 2017- 2018 Perth Summer Carnival and in the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley during the 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“If she runs how I think she will first-up, because she is a first-up specialist, she will be on the plane in a few weeks to Dubai,” Kennewell told AAP.
“She’s been invited to a few places already and there’s been interim chats with a couple of other places,” Kennewell said.
“We’ve got to get through the Oakleigh Plate first before we start making those decisions.
“We know the Dubai race is very much on the radar. So if that comes through OK and she heads to Dubai, then you’ll know more about the other two places that are on offer.”
“She’s ticking every box that we want. She looks super and she’s in really good order.”
“This is the race that she’s been set for first-up.”
Shoals is having her first run back since finishing down the track when eleventh to Redzel in the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick during the 2018 Sydney Spring Carnival.
The Chris Waller trained Nature Strip, also an ex-Weir trained galloper, has been allocated 56.5kg for the Oakleigh Plate and is coming off a brilliant first up win in the Rubiton Stakes and has been installed as the short priced $2.25 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.
On the second line of betting at $7 is his stablemate Zousain just ahead of W.J. Adams Stakes winner Bons Away and Eduardo at $7.50 and three year old Graff at $9.
Early betting for the 2019 Oakleigh Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.25 Nature Strip, $7 Zousain, $7.50 Bons Away, Eduardo, $9 Graff, $11 Shoals, Viddora, $13 Written By, $13 Fell Swoop, Spright, Voodoo Lad, $17 I’ll Have A Bit, Kemono, $21 Booker, Tin Hat, Encryption, $31 Steel Frost, $34 Ashlor, Charge, Thermal Current, Usain Bowler, $51 or better the rest.