Kiwi ready to burst some Oaks bubbles
Te Akau trainer Jamie Richards admits it is hard to line up his star filly Amarelinha against the locals heading into the Australian Oaks but he knows she was born to stay.
The New Zealand trainer arrived in Sydney this week with the boom filly and got to see his star mare Probabeel for the first time in months.
‘‘It is good the bubble has opened so we could all get here,’’ Richards said after Amarelinha glided around the Kensington track on Thursday morning.
‘‘She has travelled well and she just did a bit of three-quarter pace work and James [Mcdonald] was happy. Probabeel looks good, so everything is going well heading to Saturday. It is just good to be here after the last year.’’
Mcdonald filled the saddle in the final gallop for fellow Kiwi Opie Bosson, who made the trip to Sydney for the one ride in a pointer to the class of New Zealand Oaks winner Amarelinha.
Richards has tagged the Savabeel filly as a stayer from the time she walked out in the sale ring and was patient with her.
She only debuted in November last year but has put together a record of five wins and two photo finish seconds since then.
‘‘She was $300,000 at the sales and reminded us a lot of Probabeel. She just kept growing and that’s why we gave her a bit of time and didn’t race as a two-year-old,’’ Richards said.
‘‘She was always a staying filly. I know the boys probably didn’t live up to the standard over here, which makes you nervous, but she is very well and wouldn’t have come if she wasn’t.’’
It has been a month since Amarelinha won the New Zealand Oaks and Richards didn’t confirm the trip across the Tasman until last week.
‘‘We just wanted to make sure she was right for the trip because she is only going to get better with some time and there are some good races for her in the spring,’’ Richards said.
Amarelinha has been slow from the barriers a couple of times but her impressive acceleration has delivered her several group wins. Richards expects her to follow a similar pattern in the Oaks.
‘‘I don’t think we will rush her too much early. I wouldn’t be worried to be midfield or worse with her. She is in really good shape,’’ Richards said. ‘‘There are some good fillies in this Oaks but I would be disappointed if she couldn’t run in the first three.’’
Amarelinha is joined by Montefilia and Vinery Stakes winner Hungry Heart on the second line of Oaks betting at $4.80 behind the Mark Newnham-trained Harmony Rose, the $3.60 favourite.