No Queensland Oaks contender in Championship Stakes line-up
21 April 2017, 1:30 p.m.While the Gr.1 Queensland Derby could loom as a target for male gallopers contesting Saturday's Gr.2 Valachi Downs Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie, there won't be a Gr.1 Queensland Oaks protagonist among them.
Dreamcrafter and Veearma are the two fillies taking on the 11 geldings in the three-year-old feature which spells the end of the road for both this season.
|Dreamcrafter Photo: Race Images Palmerston North|
Mastercraftsman filly Dreamcrafter had easily won two of her three starts leading up to her Gr.3 Sunline Vase second placing but she was well beaten in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) last start.
Matamata trainer Pam Gerard ruled out any further starts this season for Dreamcrafter after Saturday's event.
"She's going straight to the paddock. She's freshened up nicely since the Oaks but this won't be an easy one for her with the slow track conditions," Gerard said.
Peter Williams said a break was pending for two-win Darci Brahma filly Veearma after the Championship Stakes as well.
"She's out for a spell after this one," said Williams, who trains in partnership with his wife Dawn.
"It's come up a tougher field than I thought it would be. It's been a race without a lot of depth in recent years but it's certainly a lot stronger this year.
"Our filly has done well and deserves her chance but she'll be a better horse next year. We'll just bring her up slowly through the grades next season but she's shown she can stay all right."
TAB bookmakers have Dreamcrafter at $16 and Veearma at $26 in a market headed by male gallopers Charles Road and Tavidream (both $3.30), Camino Rocoso ($4.80) and Comin'through ($6.20), all chances of heading to Brisbane with satisfactory performances. - NZ Racing Desk.