The Ciaron Maher-trained Set Square has burst into VRC Oaks contention with a strong win in the Listed Ethereal Stakes at Caulfield.
The filly is not nominated for the Group One VRC Oaks at Flemington on November 6 but is likely to be a late entry after she defeated odds-on favourite Maastricht.
Connections have until October 30 to pay a $55,000 late-entry fee.
“We thought if she could win today we’d pay the late fee providing she trains on,” Maher said.
Set Square ($7.50) was having her third start and stepped up from a Ballarat maiden win last start.
The daughter of Reset was aided by a well-judged ride from Nick Hall who settled the filly in fifth position on the rail.
He saved ground before taking a split as Set Square sprinted to the front.
She held Maastricht ($1.90) by two lengths with Imperial Lass ($15) a long neck away third.
“Nick rode her perfect and she’s a really progressive filly,” Maher said.
Maher said Set Square could head to the Wakeful Stakes or go straight into the Oaks.
Dwayne Dunn, who rode Maastricht, said the winner was too good but believes the filly is looking for the Oaks trip.
“If they can show a bit of a turn of foot they just catch her a bit by surprise,” Dunn said.
“But I think once we get back to Flemington it will be a game changer.”