The prospect of a dry track has boosted the chances of Sydney filly Blanco Cara stopping a Chris Waller domination of the Group One Queensland Oaks.
Waller will have a record seven runners in Saturday’s Oaks, the largest representation from one stable in a Queensland Group One race since the late Tommy Smith had five runners in a Stradbroke Handicap almost 50 years ago.
The switch of the race to Doomben means a distance reduction from 2400m to 2200m and fine weather in Brisbane has John Thompson hopeful he can be the Sydney trainer holding the Oaks trophy.
Blanco Cara finished midfield in the Group Two Adrian Knox on a heavy track during the Sydney autumn carnival Thompson elected to miss the ATC Australian Oaks because of the prospect of another wet track.
Instead he set Blanco Cara for the 2017 Queensland Oaks and hoped for dry conditions.
Blanco Cara has already been to Queensland this winter, finishing fifth in the Gold Coast Bracelet on May 6.
Thompson had then intended to run the filly in the traditional Oaks lead-up, the Doomben Roses, on May 20.
“She drew wide and there was a forecast for plenty of rain. She doesn’t like really wet tracks and as it turned out the track was heavy at Doomben,” Thompson said.
“So instead she ran in a race at Newcastle and got the job done with a win.”
Thompson thinks Blanco Cara is well up to a Group One race at this time of the year.
“Her run in the Bracelet was good and she had no luck. To finish as close as she did to the winner Dawn Wall was a nice effort,” he said.
“She has won up to 2300 metres so the distance of 2200 (metres) on Saturday will be no trouble.”
A win would give Thompson his second Group One win for the season after Sir John Hawkwood’s victory in The Metropolitan.
Blanco Cara, who is raced by one of Jamie Walter’s Proven Thoroughbreds syndicates, is by the Galileo stallion Cape Blanco who is gradually building up a reputation as a sire of stayers in Australia and New Zealand.
Fine weather is forecast for the rest of the week in Brisbane and track manager Jim Roberts believes the rating will be in the good range.