This race as discussed can be just a fair guide to what lies ahead for these staying fillies. However there is still $400,000 up for grabs on Saturday and the field does look extremely even. Who knows; maybe another Ethereal might appear out of this race. That is the great thing about racing; you just never know.
Phantom Caller is currently 100/1 but strange things happen in Oaks races. Favourites get rolled, $7 chances win by 10 and 100/1 shots sometimes run a place. Phantom Caller has won over 1800m and 2150m and she is fairly performed on all surfaces. In a very even race, a filly that is proven over a trip is worth some thought. This filly definitely falls into that category.
Vaquera is by High Chaparral which is the best indication of staying prowess we have in this country. She was great three starts ago at Canterbury in winning over 1900m then last start she fought on really well for 3rd in the traditional lead up, the Roses. She is screaming for the 2400m and has a touch of class. If she has some luck she will run the trip out as well as any of them, it is just can she run it as fast as the rest? Whatever the result, Vaquera is one to keep an eye on in the future.
Dear Demi has been everywhere and done it all. She was given no chance last week, but she is proven at the distance and is guaranteed to run out the trip. Not many horses compete in the VRC Oaks, Sydney Oaks and the Queensland Oaks. Surround did and she won all three. If Dear Demi wins she will have won 2 out of the 3. It will be an outstanding effort. She is fit, she is hard and she is ready. The one to beat for sure.
Porcellanus is unbeaten. We don’t know how good she is and on what we have seen she has plenty of upside. Gai has rushed her to Brisbane after two wins over short races, and Gai would not do this if she did not think this filly was special. She is by High Chaparral so she should stay; this together with her form indicates she is bred to stay but has won over 1400m and 1600m. Brilliance and staying ability are what is required to win an Oaks and Porcellanus has both of these qualities.
Verdict: Back Dear Demi to win and the other three each way. Four chances are always better than one and our four selections have an average price of $32. This is of course helped by Phantom Caller’s current price of 100/1.
4th. Phantom Caller. 100/1 and can stay. Worth $1 each way.
3rd. Vaquera. In form and bred to stay. $15.
2nd. Dear Demi. The favourite and will be there at the end. $3.70.
By Zeb Armstrong