Dreaming ready to strike gold
SHE’S a tough and classic New Zealand-bred filly, but ahead of the ‘Big Dance’ next Thursday, there’s a fly in the ointment ahead of tomorrow’s traditional lead-up race.
Verry Elleegant ($2.00) is a rightful hot favourite in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington five days out from the Fillies’ Grand Final in $1million Group 1 Oaks (2500m), and some good ones before her have made that exact one-two punch.
Faint Perfume was the dominant filly in 2009 and a year later, the brilliant Brazilian Pulse claimed both races.
Of course, that Flemington recipe is not the only way home.
In 2016, top class Jameka won the Group 2 Vase at the Valley before a dominant Oaks victory, Set Square exploded on the scene in 2014 claiming Group 3 Ethereal just eight days after winning her Maiden and then won the Oaks, while tank-like Dear Demi was fourth in the Wakeful in 2012 before storming home to win the Oaks.
Back now with tradition and Verry Elleegant put the writing on the wall when charging home to win the Group 3 Ethereal (2000m) at Caulfield three weeks back and not a lot’s happened since to distract you from believing she’s an Oaks queen-in-waiting.
Except there’s a tough Newcastle filly ready to make a huge statement.
El Dorado Dreaming’s ($7.50) run in the Group 2 Aquis Farm Fillies Classic (1600m) at Valley was a ripper.
Squeezed right out the back after leaving the barrier, she had to make a long sustained run against pattern, yet still kept coming for a gallant third.
Okay, at set weights, she’s right up to her best giving Verry Elleegant 2.5kg, but she gets a “cold” and smothered run back in the field saved for one final crack.
El Dorado Dreaming wants ground, and fourth-up tomorrow she’s shaping as an Oaksstyle machine, plus there’s been a “Damien” switch in the saddle – Lane off and Oliver on.
As for the headline Derby (2500m), without a filly running in race since Eve first met Adam, pressure and pace will be everything.
Dominant Group 3 Norman Robinson winner Thinkin’ Big will come across and attempt to dominate virtually from barrier to box.
So the challenge will be out early – who wants to question
favourite without ruining their own chance?
At levels weights both Extra Brut ($10.00) and Sikorsky can’t possibly turn the tables on Thinkin’ Big ($3.00) from that race, but the runner-up Chapada ($14.00) can.
Remember this gelding stepped straight from a dominant maiden win at Wangaratta into a Group 3 carnival race and gallantly chased the winner home.
Now he’s asked to step up another 500m into a famous Group 1 but he’s got stayer written all over him and Flemington suits.
Trainer Mike Moroney has an enormous belief in Chapada’s ability and leading hoop James MacDonald couldn’t jump in the saddle quick enough.
My VIC DERBY TIPS: 1. CHAPADA; 2. Thinkin’ Big; 3. Aramayo; 4. Extra Brut
Could the bubble burst on star sprinter Written By ($4.20) in Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m)?
Always a high class threeyear-old showdown, the top colt’s only defeat in seven career starts was a close-up fourth in the Golden Slipper.
He was convincing enough in the Group 3 Blue Sapphire last start but tomorrow’s straight-course war looks better made for Sydney colt Zousain ($4.80) jumping from a middle gate.
A top-notch winter carnival performer in Brisbane as a late two-year-old, then close second to all-conquering The Autumn Sun in the Golden Rose (1400m) six weeks back, Zousain’s been given time coming back in trip so watch for his last 400m here.
This might be a future Doncaster winner.
My COOLMORE STUD TIPS:
1. ZOUSAIN; 2. Written By;
3. Sunlight; 8. Diplomatico EARLY MAIL VALUE SELECTS AT FLEMINGTON:
Race 2 1. EL DORADO DREAMING (E/W)** Expect: $7.25 – $8.00 My Early Rating: $4.85
Race 3 1. OSBORNE BULLS** Expect: $3.25 – $3.65 My Early Rating: $2.55
Race 4 6. BRIMHAM ROCKS (E/W)*** Expect: $6.25 – $7.00 My Early Rating: $3.85
Race 8 4. LAND OF PLENTY** Expect: $4.75 – $5.00 My Early Rating: $3.20
Good Luck @NeilEvansmail
Zousain is Neil’s top selection in tomorrow’s Coolmore Stud Stakes.