A full field of fillies are set to tackle Saturday’s Group 1 Australasian Oaks at Morphettville and cement their spot in history alongside some fantastic former winners including Egg Tart and Delicacy. We preview each runner’s chances in the first South Australian Group 1 race of 2019.
Aristia – Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra | Dwayne Dunn
The rockstar filly of the field claimed last year’s Group 1 VRC Oaks and also has a Group 2 victory to her name. She rarely runs a bad race with a record of two wins and eight placings from her 15 career starts. The Ellerton & Zahra team are flying at the moment and she’s a huge chance to bounce back from her ATC Oaks failure and claim her second Group 1 win.
Qafila – David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig | Jamie Kah
Has contested some big races over her career including last year’s VRC Oaks. She just missed Aristia in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes over 2000m in the Spring Carnival and she’s kicked off her campaign this year with a Group 2 victory in the Armanasco Stakes. Could be a sneaky chance to give Jamie Kah a maiden hometown Group 1.
Princess Jenni – David Brideoake | Damien Oliver
The red hot favourite for the race is set to lap up the 2000m after two narrow but strong wins over 1600m. Damien Oliver has ridden her in her last two wins and he knows a thing or two about winning an SA Oaks; winning three across his illustrious career. Watch for her to be charging home late.
Mirette – Archie Alexander | Declan Bates
The Group 3 Auraria winner will be hoping to emulate the form of last year’s Oaks winner, Sopressa who claimed the Auraria/Oaks double. She’s been building nicely through the distances this preparation and is she is one who’s going to thrive over the 2000m.
House of Cartier – John Sargent | Michael Walker
The former Kiwi will love the likely soft track conditions on Saturday and she has plenty of class as well. This will be her fourth go over the 2000m and her fitness edge is going to be a massive factor in this race.
Maracaibo – Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young | Stephen Baster
The filly ran fourth in the VRC Oaks and fifth in the ATC Oaks which shows just how much class she has. She won over the mile here on Adelaide Cup Day so will know her way around the Morphettville circuit and her jockey Stephen Baster knows her well after riding her five times previously.
Amangiri – Team Hawkes | Todd Pannell
Todd Pannell teams up with his old boss in Saturday’s Group 1 and there has been plenty of support for the filly out of All Too Hard. She ran into trouble in her last start in the Group 3 Packer Plate and with more luck on the weekend she’ll be fighting out the finish.
Sure Knee – Chris Waller | John Allen
The first of the two Chris Waller runners just missed the favourite Princess Jenni last start at Caulfield. She’s taking a similar path to that of Egg Tart who claimed the 2017 Oaks for Waller. She’ll be another running on strong from the tail of the field on Saturday.
Zalatte – Chris Waller | Luke Currie
A horse who’s had a bit of a disappointing campaign after winning her first three career starts last year. She’s been contesting Group races this year so deserves some leeway but will need to improve sharply to knock off some of her competitors.
Sizzleme – Cindy Alderson | Jamie Mott
The filly who ran sixth in the VRC Oaks looks over the odds here on recent form. Last start she finished third in the Auraria Stakes where she only got beaten when coming home strongly. The start before she finished second to Mr Quickie who is a strong favourite for next week’s Group 1 Derby.
Nordic Symphony – Symon Wilde | Beau Mertens
Won in a dead heat at Flemington last Saturday at big odds and now steps up to Group 1 company. While she looks a tad outclassed, it pays to remember that the last four winners of the Oaks were last start winners so the team behind Nordic Sympony will be hoping she can continue that trend.
Zargos - David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig | Harry Coffey
After a Spring Carnival contesting quality races, the Lindsay Park filly notched up win number two at Sandown two starts back and she put in a good run last start against Princess Jenni. Harry Coffey sticks with the filly as he chases back-to-back SA Oaks wins.
Arctic Shock – Chris Meagher | Jason Holder
The filly has only missed a place once in six starts and boasts a third placing to Princess Jenni in the Group 3 Alexandra Stakes as well as a fifth placing in the Group 3 Auraria Stakes. Looks like the 2000m will suit her and she gets the services of local hoop Jason Holder.
Dreamed – Ryan Balfour | William Pike
The leading local hope produced a fantastic run to finish second in the Auraria Stakes. She gets the services of a senior hoop this start and not just any old hoop, she’ll be ridden by the Wizard of the West, William Pike. Expect the crowd to go wild if she can run a big race in front of her hometown crowd.
Collectable – Robbie Griffiths | Craig Williams
Another of the fillies who contested the Group 1 VRC Oaks last year broke her maiden status first up this year before running third to Princess Jenni last start. The booking of star jockey Craig Williams bodes well for her chances and the pair have a good connections running into the placings three times together.
Seewhatshebrings - David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig | Ben Allen
The well-travelled filly finished fourth in the Auraria last start and while she’s as honest as the day is long it looks like a few of her rivals are going a touch better and the step up in distance probably doesn’t suit her.
So We Are – Phillip Stokes | Caitlin Jones
The second of the locally trained runners will be sweating on a start as the first emergency for the race. She’s a listed placegetter in the Laelia Stakes but faded late in the Auraria Stakes last start. Will be tough for her but great to see Caitlin Jones with a Group 1 ride after returning from a break from the sport.
Prism - David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig | Michael Dee
The fourth runner from the Lindsay Park stable will see a massive step up in grade from her last start win in BM64 company. While the extra distance will suit she looks a place chance only.
Havana Heat - Will Clarken
Contested three Stakes races in her last three starts and has faded in all of them. She showed a bit more last weekend in the Group 3 Chairman’s but looks like she’d have to improve a lot to feature in the finish.
Miss Five Hundred – Peter Gelagotis | Jason Maskiell
Finished well back in the field in the Laelia and Auraria and can’t see her turning the tables on Saturday with a stronger field to contest with.