High Fashion is peaking at the right time and has the barrier to get a cosy run in the $300,000 Wellfield NZ Oaks at Trentham today. Picture / Paul Taylor
by Mike Dillon
With only 53.5kg and a handy draw Rollout The Carpet looks good in race 8
Rollout The Carpet has only to do what she produced in her sole public appearance since winning November's 1000 Guineas at Riccarton to be extremely difficult to beat in today's $50,000 Sakhee's Secret Lightning (race 8) at Trentham.
The classy filly produced the best gallop at Ellerslie's Tuesday morning fast work session before the opening of the Derby/Cup carnival.
She looked very close to her best form in that and with only 53.5kg and a handy draw this time she looks well placed.
John and Karen Parsons have been having an enormous trot and the southern pair can add today's St Leger with Asavant (No5, R5).
She's had a couple of hard races, but provided last week's 8th behind Ocean Park is not a sign she might be slightly over the top, this St Leger looks to be hers. Her Te Rapa 3rd to Sangster would win her this 10 from 10.
In the absence of Habibi and Fix, High Fashion (No1, R9) should be winning the Oaks. There is a real sense that she is peaking at exactly the right time and has the barrier to get a cosy run. Provided she gets a reasonable run from a wide gate More Than Sacred (No3) will grind out the 2500m distance better than most.
As much as we all loved the finishing burst by It's A Dundeel when fresh from a spell, co-trainer Murray Baker remains fairly convinced the classy 3-year-old will find today's 1600m of the A$500,000 Randwick Guineas too short.
"Even though I've put the blinkers on for the first time to keep him a bit handier, I think the 360m home straight at Warwick Farm will be too short. He'll be better when he gets to the Rosehill Guineas and the Derby." It's A Dundeel is $7 behind joint favourites Proisir and Rebel Dane.
At Te Rapa, Race 4 is interesting for a small field. Don't underestimate Casual Fling (No6, R4). She ended a run of three straight victories with an 8th at Ellerslie last start, but things did not go her way. She can bounce back here. Peridot (No5) is another who was luckless last start.
Ambitious Champion (No1, R2) should quit maidens for the Baker/Forsman stable. He has been determined in his two seconds and this looks his opportunity. Debut runner Dee I Why (No10) is interesting. Watch the tote.
Brave Centaur (No4, R6) looks the go despite his poor Te Rapa record. Eight Schillings is four from four at Te Rapa and can turn his recent form around.
Our Zeby (No6, R9) might not be an everyday horse, but as a back runner luck has often deserted her. She was luckless when third on this track two starts back. Ira Bean's (No8) run last start was better than it looked.