ILLAWARRA MERCURY KEITH NOLAN CLASSIC
Grahame Begg has never met the overseas owners of Tigress Baby, a horse he describes as an "insignificant thing".
But she may land the trainer his first Australian Oaks since Mahaya claimed the autumn fillies' feature 20 years ago.
But first Tigress Baby, a nondescript filly hardly bred to relish an Oaks trip, will put her autumn credentials on the line in the Illawarra Mercury Keith Nolan Classic (1600 metres) on Sunday.
"She's an insignificant thing . . . a light-framed filly," Begg said. "There's not much to look at. She's a little leggy, but light-framed with a bit of length about her. She's just kept on improving all the way through and she never seems to run a bad race."
And that is why Begg hasn't ruled out the possibility of pressing on to the Oaks - either via the traditional path of the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes or waiting for the Adrian Knox, at Group 3 level, a week later.
Comparing Hong Kong-owned Tigress Baby and the flashy Mahaya would be like comparing chalk and cheese.
Begg remains cautious about Tigress Baby's saying: "She's by Not A Single Doubt out of a More Than Ready mare, so she's not bred to be running over middle distances."