As Archie Alexander counts down to one filly from his stable running in an Oaks in Sydney, another filly from his team has emerged at Sandown as a potential Classic contender.
Alexander and connections of Wheal Leisure decided to have a crack at Saturday’s $1 million Group One ATC Australian Oaks at Randwick, for which she is a $51 chance.
And at Sandown on Wednesday, stablemate Spanner Head put herself into contention for a shot at next month’s Group One Australasian Oaks (2000m) in Adelaide with a 1-1/2 length win in the Dream Thoroughbreds handicap (1600m).
It was Spanner Head’s second career win and first in the metropolitan area.
“She’s a really, really honest filly,” Alexander said.
“We tried to follow the same campaign as last time with a 1400 metre race first-up and then into a 1600 metre.
“Then maybe we might look at a South Australian Oaks (Australasian Oaks) with her.
“Obviously we’ll see what the options are but she’s done it well today and she looks like she’ll get a bit further as well.”
Spanner Head is well-named given she has a white marking on her forehead which resembles a spanner.
Wheal Leisure was placed in the Tasmanian Oaks two starts ago and Alexander and connections were happy to give her her chance in Saturday’s Australian Oaks (2400m).
“There’s a lot to look forward to and I’m just privileged to be in this position. We’ll make the most of it,” he said.
“She stays the mile and a half well and she’s an outsider with a good chance.”
He said he hopes the track can get to soft as a heavy track would be a concern.
“We’d rather soft but it’s a Group One million dollar race and myself and the owner are keen to roll the dice. And we’ll see how she goes,” he said.
“Everything has gone smoothly. She’s obviously 50/1. But she’s a place chance.
“She’s fit and well so fingers crossed. A place would be brilliant.”