Trainer Richard Freedman did not want to make the Queensland Oaks field through someone else’s misfortune but now he gives On The White Turf a chance in the Group One race.
Freedman and his brother Michael are no strangers to Group One wins but On The White Turf can give them their first as a training partnership.
On The White Turf got into Saturday’s Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben as first emergency when the Brian Smith-trained Belle Roc suffered a career-ending injury during a routine gallop.
Freedman said On The White Turf would not be out of place in the Oaks as she had continued to improve.
“It is terrible luck for Brian and the connections. You don’t like hearing those things,” Freedman said.
“But now we are in with a chance.”
On The White Turf won two NSW provincial races before running fourth in the Group Three Frank Packer Plate at Randwick.
At her last start she was beaten three lengths into ninth place in The Roses at Doomben.
“She had a trial after the Plate and then she went to Queensland for The Roses and we were happy with the run,” Freedman said.
“We had to ride her upside down in The Roses and I suppose we will have to try something different again from barrier 16 on Saturday.
“James McDonald was also happy with The Roses run and he was keen to ride her in the Oaks.
“He is obviously the right man to overcome the barrier.”
When On The White Turf was the first emergency, McDonald was booked for Duchess Of Lennox on the proviso his original mount did not start.
Corey Brown now rides the Chris Waller-trained Duchess Of Lennox.
Freedman feels On The White Turf has the breeding to win an Oaks being by Savabeel out of a Pins mare Pins On Ice.
The filly is also nominated for the Queensland Derby on Saturday week but no decision on a start will be made until after the Oaks.
On The White Turf remained in Queensland after The Roses and has continued to work well.
The in-form Brad Stewart will have a rare ride for Waller as the champion trainer chases Tommy Smith’s record of eight Queensland Oaks wins.
Waller has won three of the past four Oaks with Winx (2015), Egg Tart (2017) and Youngstar (2018) putting him equal with Neville Begg in second behind Smith whose wins ranged from 1959 to 1990.
Stewart has had only four previous rides for Waller but one of those was a Toowoomba Cup win on The Lord Mayor.
He will ride Savigne who joins Welsh Descent (Blake Shinn), Lady Cuvee (Robbie Fradd), and Duchess of Lennox as Waller’s four runners.
Savigne is raced by Brisbane’s Neville Morgan and David Devine.
Morgan has had previous Group One success with Waller with Rangirangdoo and Kermadec.
“Savigne has a terrible barrier but if anyone knows Doomben it is Brad,” Morgan said.