Waller eyes more Oaks success with Scarlet Oak

Scarlet Oak heads the betting in the G1 Queensland Oaks on Saturday.
Scarlet Oak heads the betting in the G1 Queensland Oaks on Saturday.

Trainer Chris Waller has his sights set on winning a fourth $700,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) with the promising filly SCARLET OAK at Eagle Farm, Australia, on Saturday.

Waller won his first Oaks in 2015 when champion galloper WINX claimed her first Group 1 before going on her extraordinary winning streak. Waller then won his second Oaks in 2017 with EGG TART before making it back-to-back Oaks in 2018 with YOUNGSTAR.

This year, SCARLET OAK looks like a serious chance to pick up a fourth Oaks for the champion trainer after winning three of her four career starts, including the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) the last time she raced.

Single-figure odds runners have dominated the Oaks of late, with $21 chance WINNING WAYS being the only winner longer than $8 in the past 12 years.

Six favourites have won in that time, with SCARLET OAK poised to go off as this year’s favourite, joined by AHURIRI, MOLLY BLOOM, and MARE OF MT BULLA as those at single-figure odds in this year’s event.

La Crique returns to Australia

New Zealand mare LA CRIQUE chases her first Australian success on Saturday as she tackles the $500,000 Magic Millions National Classic over the mile at Eagle Farm racecourse.

La Crique wins the Desert Gold Stakes at Trentham on January 29. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images.
La Crique makes her second Australian starts at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

LA CRIQUE makes her second Australian start after finishing fourth in the Group 1 Empire Rose in October 2022, when she went off as the odds-on favourite on that occasion.

Since then, the five-year-old has raced eight times back in New Zealand, picking up just one win but at the highest level when she claimed the Group 1 WFA Classic two starts ago by 1.3 lengths.

Bringing with her what appears to be the strongest form into this week’s feature, it comes as no surprise to see LA CRIQUE heading the betting under champion jockey James McDonald, who will partner the seven-time winner for a second time.

Richanco to let rip at Belmont

Promising three-year-old gelding RICHANCO looks set to bounce back to winning ways when he lines up in the $125,000 Listed Raconteur Stakes over 1400m at Belmont.

Rich Enuff three-year-old Richanco is a horse on the rise.
Rich Enuff three-year-old Richanco is a horse on the rise.

RICHANCO burst onto the scene in mid-April with an easy three-length win over his maiden rivals at 1200m before repeating the feat second-up, again over 1200m. Rising to this week’s distance of 1400m for his third race, RICHANCO over-raced on the lead but fought strongly, only to be collared late and finishing just half a length behind the winner.

RICHANCO should have every chance to atone this week, with champion jockey William Pike taking the reins for the first time. With the pair drawing ideally in barrier 3, Pike should have plenty of tactical options to secure a winning run.

Author: iRace