Tom Dabernig acknowledges boom Sydney filly Montefilia is the horse to beat in the VRC Oaks at Flemington but he thinks Personal has some advantages over her.
Those advantages are geographical and historical, according to the co-trainer.
The David Payne-trained Montefilia is a $1.85 favourite with TAB fixed odds and Personal is second pick at $6 for Thursday’s race.
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“We’re on our home turf and have been able to stick with our routine,” Dabernig said.
“The important thing is that she has pulled up well. We can’t fault her.”
Dabernig said at the top of the straight in the Wakeful Stakes last Saturday he thought Personal was going to win before Victoria Quay, who is not contesting the Oaks, overpowered her.
His filly finished second and traditionally the Wakeful has been a key guide for the VRC Oaks five days later.
“The Wakeful has been a good guide to the Oaks so hopefully it is again,” Dabernig said.
“I reckon there is some improvement to come also, she blew up a bit over the back.”
Personal has been given a quiet week with the stable just keeping her happy since the Wakeful Stakes.
“She’s done very little. We’ve kept her fresh and put her on the water walker, and just ticking over,” Dabernig said.
He admits the 2500 metres is a query with Personal but says that is the case for every runner.
“(The) 2500 metres is always a slight query but every start she’s had she’s been solid in,” he said.
An Oaks victory by Personal would be a special moment for Lindsay Park as it would provide the new partnership of Dabernig and Ben Hayes with its first Group One win together.
The past two VRC Oaks winners, Aristia and Miami Bound, both captured the Wakeful Stakes in the lead up.
Personal will be riden by Damien Oliver who is going for his sixth victory in the fillies’ classic.