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Australian Racing: Oaks win in the sights of Jennilala

Morphettville plays host to the sole Group 1 on Saturday with the 2023 running of the Australasian Oaks over 2000m. There’s also Group race action at both Eagle Farm and Ascot.

Race 9 Morphettville

Jennilala @ 8.00

Race 8 Eagle Farm

Rothfire @ 6.50

Race 5 Newcastle

Dame Cartland @ 4.20

Jennilala liked for Oaks success

The feature race at Morphettville, the Australasian Oaks, looks a competitive affair, with a field of 19 declared and a soft 5 track expected.

Arts was the winner of two of her first three starts including by nearly four-and-a-half-lengths over this trip in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes on a heavy 8 track at Randwick at the start of this month.

The Edward Cummings-trained filly turned out a week later stepping up to 2400m for the first time coming home fifth having raced from off the pace in the Group 1 Australian Oaks at the same venue.

Preference in this contest, however, is for JENNILALA who has won twice from six starts.

Trained by Ciaron Maher & David Eustace the pick was beaten a head at Benchmark 64 level over 1300m at Sandown Hillside on her penultimate start.

She took her form to a new level when a change of tactics saw her race from off the pace over 1800m in the Group 3 Auraria here two weeks ago.

That switch-up, combined with the extra distance, appeared to suit as she delivered a victory by just over three-quarters-of-a-length under jockey Declan Bates.

Bates is again in the saddle here and with the extra 100m looking likely to score the daughter of Shalaa is taken to salute from barrier two.

Rothfire on for Group race glory

The penultimate race on the Eagle Farm card is the 1200m Group 2 Victory Stakes.

A soft 5 track is forecast with Private Eye expected to prove popular returning to Brisbane following two starts at Group 1 level in Sydney this spell.

Those efforts include fourth when beaten less than two lengths in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap over this trip first up in March.

However, the gelding disappointed in the TJ Smith over the same distance at Randwick subsequently.

This looks an easier contest, but fellow five-year-old ROTHFIRE is selected to get the better of Brenton Avdulla’s mount.

The selection has shown a liking for this venue in the past winning half of his ten starts here.

His course efforts since his most recent victory here including a third in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap over 1400m here when racing from the front in June last year.

Since then the Rothesay gelding has won a Group 2 over 1000m at Moonee Valley and delivered a number of good efforts in Group 1 company.

Nash Rawiller takes the ride for the first time here with his mount coming into this on the back of a first up three length second to front-running winner Prince Of Boom over 1000m here April 15th.

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Doyle's Dame set to impress

Trainer Nathan Doyle saddled a winner at Newcastle last Saturday and looks to hold strong claims of doing similar with his only runner on the card DAME CARTLAND in the fifth.

The race in question is a 1200m Benchmark 64 contest with his three-year-old filly having performed well when winning over 1100m at this level at Hawkesbury early last month.

That triumph came on a good 4 track and similar going is forecast for this event.

The pick delivered a solid effort when jumping at big odds for a Class 3 over this trip at Eagle Farm subsequently.

Racing from off the pace that day, she was beaten just under three-and-three-quarter-lengths into sixth two weeks ago and is taken to resume winning ways from a good alley three off the rail.

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