Two fillies who had their Melbourne spring campaigns prematurely ended will head to Kembla Grange on Friday with a chance to confirm their ATC Australian Oaks credentials.
The David Payne-trained Lady Macan and High Above for Anthony Cummings will line up in the $200,000 Keith Nolan Classic (1600m) with both trainers keen to head towards the blue riband at Randwick.
Payne pulled the pin on his Victorian Oaks ambitions for Lady Macan after she finished down the track in two Melbourne starts last spring.
But he remains committed to giving her another chance to prove she can stay.
“If she runs well on Friday we will head off to the Oaks via the Adrian Knox (Stakes),” Payne said.
“She has been a bit unlucky in both runs this time in and I think she can be competitive in an even race.”
High Above also earned a trip to Melbourne in the spring but contracted a virus on the eve of the Thousand Guineas and was scratched.
The filly is entered for Rosehill on Saturday and Kembla Grange with Cummings leaning towards the provincial feature where he feels High Above will be suited by a bigger distance rise.
“She was a bit short of full race condition last start, she’s improved off that and had a strong gallop early this week,” Cummings said.
“She’s going towards the Oaks.”
Wine Tales, Supara and Heavens Above are also dual acceptors for the Phar Lap Stakes at Rosehill and the Keith Nolan Classic.
The Nolan Classic meeting also features a $100,000 qualifying heat of the Provincial Championships.
In a wide betting race, the Tony McEvoy-trained Harmonic is the early favourite ahead of Kayjay’s Joy.
Harmonic is a lightly raced six-year-old with five wins in 16 starts which resumes with the benefit of two barrier trials.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au