Believe might be an outsider in the Australian Oaks but as always, her optimistic trainer Anthony Cummings can find reasons why it shouldn’t be that way.
The filly will be having her fourth start when she lines up in Saturday’s 2400m Group One Classic at Randwick.
It is her first start that gives Cummings confidence the $51 chance can match it with her more favoured rivals.
Believe made a winning debut over 1300m at Newcastle on February 6, beating Happy Hannah by a length.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Happy Hannah is the $4.60 second favourite behind Jameka ($3.50) to win the Oaks.
“She didn’t finish far off them last time in the Vinery and had a torrid run,” Cummings said.
“She was worst out of the barriers then was three deep and couldn’t get a clear passage. She had no peace at all so I think it was a good run.”
Believe finished ninth of the 14 runners in the Group One Vinery (2000m) won by Single Gaze with Valley Girl second and Happy Hannah third.
Cummings admitted barrier 11 wasn’t ideal in the field of 14 plus two emergencies but the distance and predicted soft track were in her favour.
“The barrier is a challenge but the ground should suit,” he said.
“The distance is not an issue.”
Believe won her second start before finishing third in the Group Two Phar Lap Stakes.
Since the Newcastle race, Happy Hannah has also had three starts, breaking her maiden at Hawkesbury and backing it up with a Warwick Farm win before the Vinery.
Although Jameka hasn’t won since she took out the VRC Oaks in November, three of her four starts leading into Saturday have been at Group One level against her male counterparts.
She finished fifth in the Australian Guineas won by Palentino, third in Tarzino’s Rosehill Guineas and second to New Zealander Tavago in Saturday’s ATC Australian Derby.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au