Lightly raced Godolphin filly Colette has stormed into favouritism for the Group One ATC Australian Oaks after a convincing win in the Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick.
The James Cummings-trained Colette had come through two provincial wins before enhancing her Oaks credentials with a stylish performance in Saturday’s Group Three 2000m race for three-year-old fillies.
New Zealand filly Probabeel is at $4.50 for the Oaks while Shout The Bar, who beat Probabeel in last Saturday’s Group One Vinery Stud Stakes, is $5.
Funstar was $6 but is listed as unlikely with trainer Chris Waller indicating she was likely to run in the Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m) next Saturday but a decision will be made early next week.
Colette settled midfield under James McDonald in the Adrian Knox before weaving her way through runners in the first half of the home straight.
She stormed to the front at the 100m and drew away to beat Toffee Tongue by 2-3/4-lengths, with Quintessa another three-quarters of a length away third.
Cummings will monitor how Colette comes through her win, with the Oaks in seven days.
“We’ve treated her with kid gloves coming into it, with a long-range plan to target an Adrian Knox which can suit a filly on the way through like her,” Cummings said.
“She might just set up nicely and be an interesting addition to the Oaks next week if we’re very, very pleased with the way she is in the next seven days.
“The gap between runs her last couple has been important and she has enjoyed that but now she’s into the serious end.
“She was two weeks between runs today and potentially a week back-up next week but she looks like she’s got the constitution to handle it.”
McDonald said Colette settled well and showed a great turn of foot in the rain-affected conditions but also believes the Oaks will be a tougher challenge against fillies coming through the Vinery Stud Stakes.
“They were probably, to be fair, the B-graders compared to what the Vinery have come up against, but all she has done is won in good style and you couldn’t knock that,” McDonald said.
“But she’s going to have to lift again, I feel.”