Trainer Danny Bougoure has revealed that the 2014 Oakleigh Plate will be the major autumn target for talented filly Oakleigh Girl.
Oakleigh Girl stamped herself as a horse to watch when she won the Group 3 7News Stakes (1000m) and Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1010m) in her first two race starts, but she has not been seen at the races since she finished sixth in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) and fifth in the Group 3 Royal Randwick Stakes (1200m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Bougoure told Sky Racing HQ that Oakleigh Girl had taken a while to recover from her two tough runs during her winter campaign, but he believes that three-year-old has taken plenty of benefit from her lengthy stint in the spelling paddock and is happy to set her for the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) in autumn – a race that was won by both her sire Snitzel (2006) and her dam Miss Kournikova (2001).
“She has just been basking in the sun up here,” Bougoure said.
“She had the winter off, the two runs in Sydney were both on pretty heavy tracks which knocked her around a bit and it took her a while to recover.
“We just pulled the pin on any sort of spring plans and the ultimate goal for her now is to try and get her to win the Oakleigh Plate.
“She is going to get in with a nice weight now as long as we pick and choose the right races.
“She has probably improved a bit, she has grown and strengthened and you would like to see think that she has gone forward and will be a better horse this time in.”
Oakleigh Girl has been back in work for just under a month and Bougoure said that he was happy with the way that she performed in a jump out at Doomben earlier this week.
Bougoure said he is yet to decide when Oakleigh Girl will return to the races, but he plans on giving her a few starts in Brisbane during the summer before she begins preparations for her autumn campaign.
“She had a jump out at Doomben on the A grass Tuesday of this week and she came back in fine order,” Bougoure said.
“She will probably need another one because she has had a pretty lengthy spell and we might look at running her in round about a months’ time.
“There is quite a few three-year-olds fillies races up here or Listed fillies and mares races and she will probably have a relatively light prep this time in and then it will be full steam ahead to the Oakleigh Plate.
“We will screw in something pretty firm for her over the next week or ten days.”
Oakleigh Girl has recorded two wins from six race starts, but she has already accumulated over $500,000 in prizemoney for connections.