Racing: NZ filly guaranteed Oaks start

Provocative is guaranteed a start in the Queensland Oaks. Photo / Race Images
Provocative is guaranteed a start in the Queensland Oaks. Photo / Race Images

Provocative is guaranteed a run in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks, but she is no certainty to take her place.

Heavy rain in Brisbane forced the abandonment of the Eagle Farm meeting yesterday and the fillies' feature has been rescheduled for seven days' time.

"The Oaks and the Derby will be on the same day so I'll have a chat with the owners about which way we go," Cambridge trainer Tony Pike said.

"She will be in the Oaks field as Leon McDonald's horse (Beluga Blue) definitely won't be running. "She'll have a gallop on Tuesday and we'll make a decision after that."

Raced by Robin Peel-Walker and Mark Wyborn, Provocative has won three of her six outings.

Meanwhile, Pike was cheering from afar yesterday when Summer's Day continued her outstanding run of form with a hard fought win in the Edwards Sound Chairman's Trophy Handicap at Ellerslie.

"She's flying and she's just such an honest mare," he said.

Summer's Day answered every call from rider Danielle Johnson inside the closing 200 metres to rally for a half a head victory at the expense of Underthemoonlight.

"She'll probably run next in the Listed Tauranga Stakes in three weeks' time," Pike said. "She can have a spell after that and then come back for the spring."

Also looking to spring and black type is Te Rapa trainer Stephen Ralph. A canny Mark Hillis ride saw smart colt Thunder Down Under win the Bestaff Rating 85 at Ellerslie.

"It's about time - his whole 3-year-old preparation has been frustrating and I'm so glad Mark showed his initiative and took him to the front and the horse showed just what he can do," Ralph said.

The son of Street Sense had no trouble holding off Meritaggio to score by three quarters of a length.

Ralph is keen to set Thunder Down Under for the Triple Crown series at Hastings.

- NZ Racing Desk.

- Herald on Sunday

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