Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir has two strong contenders, Sopressa and Think Bleue, for the 2018 Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Oaks (Australasian Oaks) (2000m) at Morphettville on May 5.
Sopressa emerged as one of the top fancies for the Australasian Oaks with a dominant four and a quarter lengths win in the Group 3 $120,000 Schweppervescence Stakes (Auraria Stakes) (1800m) at Morphettville last Saturday and will return there in two weeks.
“She got a terrific ride from Harry (Coffey) and she showed her strengths really late in the race when she was getting to the final furlong over 1800m, she was very strong,” Weir told racing.com on Sunday.
“It would suggest that the 2000m (of the Australasian Oaks) will really suit.
“She is already back at Warrnambool now, she travelled back early Sunday morning and she’ll head back over the day before the Oaks.”
Winning jockey Harry Coffey was full of praise for Sopressa following her electrifying win and is hoping to be aboard the So You Think filly in the Australasian Oaks.
“Even though she won by a space, I hate to say it to her rivals, but she won having a look around and is exciting going forward,’’ Coffey said.
“Hopefully I can stick with her.’’
“She was just too good for them.’’
“She’s an outstanding filly. She was a touch unlucky last start and I was fortunate to get on her back.”
Weir decided to scratch Think Bleue from the Schweppervescence Stakes because of a wide barrier and the So You Think filly will have her final Australasian Oaks lead up run in the $120,000 William Newton VC Handicap (1720m) at Flemington on Wednesday.
Think Bleue has drawn barrier three in the William Newton VC Handicap with Damian Lane in the saddle again after the pair combined for a last start win in the Group 3 $150,000 Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on March 23.
“Think Bleue will run on Wednesday, she drew a bit tricky so we decided to pull her out and we are going to run her at Flemington in the 1700-metre race instead,” Weir said.
“Providing she runs through the line she’ll be heading there as well.”
Weir will be hoping to go one better this year after his filly Kenedna was beaten a nose by the Chris Waller trained Egg Tart in the 2017 Australasian Oaks.