FRESH from finding the Doomben 10,000 winner, Aaron Macey and Matthew Taylor put their heads together one again to try and pick their way through the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) field.
MT: Well mate it’s hats off to you, you were very confident about Music Magnate and he got the chocolates in the 10,000 at double figures. Are you feeling as confident with the Oaks this Saturday?
AM: Cheers Matt. I’m certainly not as confident as last week. I feel it’s a much more open race and that is reflected in the market with Falkenberg being a $7 favourite.
MT: If we're honest it’s going to be hard for anyone to be confident with Saturday being the first meeting back at Eagle Farm since August 2014. They will be racing on a new and slightly reconfigured track and with rain forecast, it has the potential to be a rather prickly day.
AM: It sure does. We’ll have to be very wary and I would assume most smart punters will be waiting to see how it plays before betting right up unless they have marked something to be dramatic overs.
MT: Smart thinking. We'll assume the track is fair for all and make adjustments on the day. But for now, Falkenberg is the $7.50 favourite as you mentioned, and we’d best start with her. She threw her chances away at the barriers last start, what do you think of her here?
AM: I wouldn’t exactly say she threw away her chances as she is a horse that has been getting back and that can be over played when missing the start. But the fact she got her hoof caught and didn’t have a lot of luck was clearly evident. I had a big query on her running this sort of a trip at the start of the prep, but I feel the Snowden team has done a great job of getting her to settle. I was pretty taken with the way she hit the line after things not going her way. She is clearly one of the key chances but is slightly under the odds at the moment and I would want $9 to be on her.
MT: There's definitely a distance query over a number of these and she is one of them but she's definitely in my numbers. If she gets away well enough she can get a cosy run towards the fence and unleash in the run home. The fact she was able to run-on well after her early troubles last start says to me she may have the stamina for a strong 2400m performance. What about Imposing Lass here Aaron? Was her last-start third, which ended her winning streak, just a minor blip on the radar?
AM: I was rapt by her run last start and have her as my top pick for the race, I’m struggling to understand how she is not favourite. She drew wide and was forced to work three and four wide without cover early. She finally found the front but was taken on from the 600m and managed to hold on for third. She was clearly the best run of the race and has been the dominant filly this preparation. As long as the run hasn’t gutted her, she is by far the horse to beat for mine.
MT: She's definitely a lovely type and has impressed at every run. The concern for me is running a strong 2400m on speed. The mile and a half is a completely different beast and if there is some pressure on up front she may be running on empty by the end. It is just a complete unknown. The other runners in single figures at the moment in a wide market are Romantic Maid and Dawnie Perfect. What are your thoughts on those two fillies?
AM: I don’t think the 2400m should be an issue for you but like you said you’ll never know till they attempt it. Dawnie Perfect seems to be the corner store tip but I am struggling to see it. I understand she is bred to stay and hit the line nicely last start but am just not sure if she has the class of some of these other fillies. She will need even more luck from the horror draw and is more of a 20-1 chance. I liked Romantic Maid’s last start win and was taken with her effort the start prior. These horses from New Zealand managed to measure up strongly though out the Autumn this season and I can’t see a reason why she wouldn’t go close here. She goes in my top four chances.
MT: These young Kiwi stayers continue to impress out here don't they? They definitely have to be respected and for that reason I'm pretty keen on Provocative if she gains a start. Her win last start at Ipswich was arrogant and has given her the all-important clear out run since crossing the ditch. She'll most likely settle in the second half of the field but looks a likely type to sustain a reasonable run around the outside and at $11 I'll be all over her if she makes the final field. What are your thoughts on Provocative Aaron?
AM: I currently have her second pick also if she gains a start. I liked the look of her runs in NZ and she has form around Mackintosh as well. Her win was very impressive last start at Ipswich albeit against an average field but I just loved the way she motored through the line. She looks a dead set stayer and will be happy to be on her come race day.
MT: Couldn't agree more! What about the long shots mate, is there anything out wide that you think has a chance of figuring in the finish?
AM: Not really to be honest. I’m happy to be on the Baker filly Imposing Lass each-way and also the Provocative if she gains a start.
MT: I'm keen to remind everyone of Marc Lambourne's Pearl about the best preparation for a 2400m race being a 2400m run. While Derby and Oaks races often have a small number of horses that fit the bill, I think any rain or track issues may bring the likes of Chabaud, Beluga Blue and Alaskan Rose into the mix. While outclassed by a number of these fillies shorter in the market, they have fitness and proven performances at the trip on their side. Ambience also fits that category but from her draw she may need a bit more than luck to take this one out. But other than that I'll be playing Provocative (if she gains a start) and also betting for a winning result on Falkenberg. Thanks Aaron and we'll do it all again for the Derby, JJ Atkins and Stradbroke next week!
This first appeared on The Punters Show HERE.