Maher And Oliver Combine With G1 Chances
- Thursday, 07 April 2016 07:50
Jameka is striving to become the first filly in a decade to claim the VRC Oaks and Australian Oaks double on what could be a huge day for Ciaron Maher and Damien Oliver.
The Maher-trained Jameka is favourite for Saturday's ATC Australian Oaks while stablemate Azkadellia is also at the top of the market for the Group One Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
Oliver partners both horses and will also be aboard Maher's smart sprinting filly Petits Filous who is among the main chances in the Group Two Arrowfield Sprint.
Jameka has taken on the colts and geldings in her past two starts in Sydney, placing in the Rosehill Guineas and beating all bar New Zealand stayer Tavago in the Australian Derby.
Victory would see her become the fourth filly in the past 30 years and the first since Serenade Rose to win the Oaks in Melbourne in the spring and also in Sydney in autumn.
"She was brave once again last Saturday and she's back to racing the fillies," Oliver said.
"It's by no means a gimme, there's some nice horses in there as well and she's got an awkward draw again which is not going to make it any easier.
"But she's been most consistent throughout her career and we'd expect another big run from her."
Jameka has the outside barrier having started from a double-digit stall in her past three starts.
Randwick was rated soft on Thursday.
"A wet track doesn't concern me but it would have been nice to just have drawn a good gate on her to give her a cosy run," Oliver said.
Jameka will be racing on a seven-day back up for the first time but Maher says the filly has come through the Derby well.
Azkadellia is effective when backing up after she was an unlucky runner in the Group One Myer Classic.
The four-year-old has placed in her three attempts at the elite level including her third to Winx and Happy Clapper in last Saturday's Doncaster Mile.
"She ran well on Cox Plate day last spring and then backed up and ran super in the Myer. Taking a line through that - and she handles wet ground as well - she's got to be a great chance," Oliver said.