This Saturday’s New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham has attracted a strong field of fillies in search of their first Group 1 victory.
The NZ Oaks is also the final leg in the NZ Bloodstock’s Filly of the Year Series and it’s still alive despite the absence of prominent fillies Habibi (Ekraar) and Fix (Iffraaj).
Fix (27.5 points) currently leads the Series with an 8.5 point margin over second placed Soriano. Nevertheless, the Savabeel filly can overhaul the leader if she wins the NZ Oaks and the 12 points on offer.
Soriano will have to be at her very best to win the NZ Oaks as she will meet a tough field headed by High Fashion (O’Reilly) who couldn’t have been more impressive when winning the last leg of the Series in the G3 Lowland Stakes (2100m).
The same can be said for More Than Sacred (More Than Ready). She produced a game performance to win the G3 Sunline Vase (2100m) ahead of Rays Girl (Savabeel) who is also among the main chances on Saturday.
Aurora Lights finished third in the Sunline Vase and she is one of two Darci Brahma homebreds from The Oaks Stud engaged – the second being Blanket Bay who held on for fifth after leading them up in the Sunline.
Pencarrow Stud filly Siciliani is the third Darci Brahma in the field. She was placed over 2100 metres at Te Rapa at her last start. The Oaks and Darci Brahma combined to win last year’s NZ Oaks with Artistic.
O’Reilly sired a Lowland Stakes trifecta with his daughters High Fashion, Chandelier and Emerald Queen and the trio all have good claims as genuine candidates for the NZ Oaks.
Decorah (Pins) is another right in the race after finishing just two lengths adrift of More Than Sacred in the Sunline Vase. She was second to Lucky Country (Darci Brahma) in the NZB Insurance Oaks Prelude two starts ago.
The Cambridge Stud raced Abidewithme (Redoute’s Choice) has been freshened for the NZ Oaks with her last start back in early February in the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic while Sultry Assassin (Keeper) comes into the race after being unplaced in the Sunline Vase after losing a shoe in transit.
Perfectly Ready will have two runners in the race, Sworntoperfection and Perfect Start, and both will be looking for better luck in running after their last races where they finished unplaced.
Grace O’Malley (Chinese Dragon) and Jagersfontein (Volksraad) complete the field and they raced well to finish second and fourth respectively in the Stella Artois 2100 at Ellerslie on Derby Day at their last starts behind Serpent (Chinese Dragon).
The NZ Bloodstock’s Filly of the Year Series winner will earn $50,000 in bonus cheques including $10,000 (breeder), $10,000 (trainer) and $30,000 (owners). View the current points table at: http://www.nzb.co.nz/info/filly.cfm