Bohemian Lily’s chances of becoming only the second filly since Ethereal in 2001 to win the Doomben Roses/Queensland Oaks double were dealt a blow at Wednesday’s barrier draw when the Gai Waterhouse trained galloper was assigned gate twenty. Bohemian Lily eased in betting off of the back of the news to $5.00 but is still considered the best chance in the race outside of dominant favourite Winx ($2.60). Winx has taken an unconventional path to the Oaks, given that nine of the past ten winners of the Oaks have come out of the Doomben Roses – eight of them having finished in the top four of that race, and earned favouritism via a devastating win in the Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m). If successful, Winx will deliver to her trainer Chris Waller one of the very few feature races from the Brisbane Winter Carnival not already on his mantelpiece. For insurance purposes, Waller also has a live chance with his second runner Ballet Suite ($11) but like Bohemian Lily, she’ll start an arm’s length from the outside fence in gate twenty-one.
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1. BOHEMIAN LILY – B Shinn (20)
Drew ten of thirteen in last week’s G2 The Roses (2020m) and after pushing forward out of the straight to take the lead, dominated the field to register a four length win. The New Zealand filly, now with Gai Waterhouse, gets better with every run and despite drawing horribly here again, still rates a legitimate chance on the authority of her last start win and overall form.
2. WINX – J Bowman (13)
Came from an improbable position in the Sunshine Coast Guineas, her first run since finishing second in the G1 Australian Oaks (2400m) five weeks earlier, to round up her opposition in great fashion and record a 1 ¾ length win. Amazing win last start and whilst she hasn’t taken the traditional path in to this race or won yet beyond a mile, she has a tonne of class and it’s hard to see her not figuring prominently in the finish.
3. PLATINUM WITNESS – D Brown (14)
Kiwi filly who, when having her first Australian start in last week’s G2 The Roses, got well back in a leader dominated race and finished sixth, 7.3 lengths behind winner Bohemian Lily. Jockey reported post-race she was on her wrong leg throughout and her final furlong effort was clearly her best. Takes good experience out of that run, has a faultless New Zealand record and would expect a much sharper effort here.
4. BALLET SUITE – K McEvoy (21)
It’s been three weeks since the Chris Waller trained filly won the Listed Princess Stakes (2000m), defeating Bohemian Lily fairly and squarely, by a neck. Forgive her effort in G1 Australian Oaks when eighth but posted deep throughout, and her record reads very well for here. Settles back in her runs but from nearer the outside fence, she will have to produce a big effort to be winning here.
5. RUSTIC MELODY – J McDonald (17)
Tough Snitzel filly who stuck on solidly in both the G3 Adrian Knox (2000m), second to Candelara, and the G1 Australian Oaks (2400m) when fourth (6 lengths) to Gust Of Wind. Kris Lees then gave his charge a four week break and she returned with a strong closing second (head) to High Midnight in a BM75 (1900m) at Rosehill. Understandably given the break and drop back in trip, she took a while to warm up last start but was hitting top gear late and would’ve won in another stride or two. Benefits from latest hit-out and has solid form in the right races but will need plenty of luck or a gem of ride to help negotiate gate 17.
6. COL’N’LIL – L Tarrant (5)
Kept inching ground of Bohemian Lily when second (neck) to her in the G3 Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) before registering a fourth (2.1 lengths) in Listed Princess Stakes (2000m) and at her most recent start, another excellent effort when second (4 lengths) to Bohemian Lily again in the G2 The Roses (2020m). Chased hard last start and like she has in her each of the above runs, will again take up a forward position from her good draw. Honest filly that could run a race at odds given the run she’s likely to receive.
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7. WHATALOVELYDAY – T Harrison (11)
Steadily improving daughter of Domesday who boxed on gamely in the G2 The Roses (2020m) last weekend to finish third (5.5 lengths) behind Bohemian Lily. Drew gate two last week and had the run of the race. Hard to see her turning the tables on the winner here though, or making the required improvement needed to be winning this race, given she’ll probably won’t get the same cushy run this time out.
8. EXQUISITE JEWEL – J Byrne (4)
A month after running second (1 length) in New Zealand’s G2 Champion Stakes won by Werther, who contests the G2 QTC Cup earlier in the day, she lined up in the G2 The Roses (2020m). The Lucky Unicorn filly stretched out nicely late over the final stages from a midfield position, and will derive plenty of benefit from that run. Drawn to get a nice run here and did run fourth (2.1 lengths) in the NZ Oaks. Has to be given serious consideration here.
9. HEAVENS ABOVE – G Schofield (10)
Broke her maiden status two runs back, at her fifth career start, with a narrow win in a Wagga Maiden before shaping up well in the Scone 3yo Guineas (1400m) with a third (2.3 lengths) to Loved Up. Got the right run last start and whilst that run confirms she has the potential to win some better class races, it will take an extraordinary effort to win here, jumping 800m in trip as well as significantly in class.
10. SWIFT LADY – (16)
Made amends for her luckless run in the G3 JHB Carr Stakes (1400m) with a comfortable win the following week in a BM 70 (1600m) at Randwick when defeating Sadler’s Lake. The John Sargent trained filly then drew wide and get well back in the G3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) before doing her best work late to finish ninth (6.6 lengths) behind Winx. Would’ve liked to have seen a little more from her late last start and does get beyond a mile for the first time however, her trainer has an outstanding record in recent Oaks races and his decision to race her here is to be respected.
11. SEBRINA – G Boss (8)
Bjorn Baker’s filly made light of the heavy track and opposition when winning a BM 70 (1600m) at Warwick Farm two starts back before being a moral beaten in last week’s BM 73 (2000m) at Randwick. Found nothing but trouble last time out and her run should be completely ignored. The daughter of Sebring appears to have plenty of talent and whilst this race has probably comes a touch earlier in her career than ideal, she could figure here – especially with some give in the track.
12. ANAPHORA – T Bell (18)
Jockey won this race last year on Tinto and will be hoping Tony Noonan’s Dylan Thomas filly can make it back-to-back victories. She closed from near last at Caulfield two runs back to arrive right on the line in an Open fillies race (1600m) before getting every chance in a similar graded, same course, over 2000m when fifth (4.6 lengths). Just found wanting over final stages last time out and with an extra 400m and wide gate to contend with here, would be concentrating on others.
13. UNGRATEFUL ELLEN – C Williams (12)
Came from last on the turn to run a good fifth behind outstanding filly Delicacy in the G1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) before finishing third (half a length) when settling closer to the speed in the G3 Fillies Classic (2500m) at Morphettville. Has had to do plenty in each of the above two runs from poor draws but may get an easier time of here from the middle of the field, which should see her positioned well enough to stake her claim in the straight. No dramas regarding the trip and an ideal candidate for those looking for some potential value.
14. NO TRICKS – M Cahill (3)
Drew wide, pushed forward and took up the running out of the straight the first time when contesting the Listed Princess Stakes (2000m) and stuck on ok for sixth (2.8 lengths) to Ballet Suite and Bohemian Lily. The New Zealand filly, who has built a solid record over nine starts in her home-land, drew wide again it the G2 The Roses and this time, settled well back and was last rounding the turn. She couldn’t improve her position from there and ran tenth (ten lengths) but here, from a much more favourable draw; she’ll be able to settler in her preferred position handier to the speed. Expect a sharp turnaround.
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15. ZARZALI – T Berry (8)
Hit the line strongly last start did the daughter of Hussonet, running third to Ballet Suite and Bohemian Lily in the Listed Princess Stakes (2000m). That was her first run in a month and since she finished seventh in the G1 Australian Oaks and fifth in the G3 Adrian Knox Stakes her start prior. Nice trial for here last time out and for a developing filly better suited here than she was in the Sydney carnival.
16. YULONG BABY – C Newitt (19)
Mick Price’s filly was worse than midfield before peeling deep at the 500m to make her run and got home ok for fourth (5.7 lengths) in Bohemian Lily’s G3 The Roses (2020m) win. Enough of an effort last start to give connections some hope heading into this but that may have been diminished now by an unforgiving barrier draw.
17. IMPERIAL LASS – (1) (1st EM)
Got a long way back in the G3 Gold Coast Bracelet but her last furlong was encouraging in a leader dominated race and saw her finish sixth (5.8 lengths) behind Bohemian Lily. She then settled three back the running line and tracked up behind the leading group nicely as they straightened for the run home in the Listed Princess Stakes however, the Tavistock filly only held her ground from there and finished fifth (2.3 lengths) to Ballet Suite. Draws the rails but given she’ll likely to get back, will need luck from the 800m home and not sure we saw enough from her last time out.
18. CHAMPION STAGE – (6) (2nd EM)
Won her maiden, at her second race start, earlier this month at Newcastle over a mile before making it two wins from three starts with victory on the Gold Coast in BM 70 (1800m). The Mastercraftsman filly is obviously a nice horse in the making but, despite her Trainer John Sargent’s record in these races, would have to think this race has come upon her too quickly.
19. SHANDAARA – (7) (3rd EM)
Broke her maiden status two runs back with a head win in a Cranbourne Maiden (1300m) before closing steadily to just miss picking up Champion Stage in a BM 70 (1800m) on the Gold Coast at her most recent outing. Like Champion Stage, she’ll only improve and is giving encouraging signs to her future potential however, hard to see her winning this off such a limited campaign.
20. MINE WITH LIME – (2) (4th EM)
Battled to hold her position in the Listed Princess Stakes (2000m) two starts back when seventh (8.1 lengths) before closing strongly in a Gold Coast Class 1 (1800m) to run third to Magic In Action. Goes up 3kgs on that run and so much more in term of class here and will struggle.
21. STEWBALL – (15) (5th EM)
Fifth emergency so she’s unlikely to get a start and even if she did, with her one win from nine starts being in a Toowoomba Maiden last December, she’ll be well and truly accounted for.
RACE OVERVIEW –
No options for Bohemian Lily but to go forward from her draw. Worth remembering though she drew wide last week, didn’t get to the lead position until they started the swing in the back and still won by four. Winx appears to be clearly the best filly in the race. This trip may not be her best distance however, against her own and sex it is something her class can overcome. Out of the Doomben Roses, historically the best form reference for this race, really liked the finishing efforts of New Zealand pairing Exquisite Jewel and Platinum Witness. Both will take great benefit from last week’s run and each of solid records in NZ to support their claims over the 2400m. At $26 and $21 respectively, they represent great value chances.
2. EXQUISITE JEWEL
3. BOHEMIAN LILY
4. PLATINUM WITNESS