New Zealand Oaks runner-up Charms Star could be the big improver in Saturday’s Queensland Oaks as she continues to thrive in her new surrounds of Queensland.
Charms Star had her first Australian start when a solid third in the Doomben Roses a fortnight ago and Kerrin Mcevoy has retained the ride for Saturday’s Group 1 contest.
McEvoy is bidding to join Chris Munce at the head of the jockey ranks of the Queensland Oaks, having won the race three times; Purple for Peter Snowden in 2009 and then Egg Tart (2017) and Youngstar (2018) for Chris Waller in more recent times.
Munce won the race on Giovana (2000), Zagalia (2003), Vouvray (2004) and Miss Keepsake (2010).
McEvoy was satisfied with Charms Star’s effort in the Roses where she kept finding the line at her first run in 63 days.
Charlie Duckworth supervised Chris Waller’s six Oaks runners in their final gallops on Tuesday morning on the Gold Coast and while not naming any one standout over another, did note Charms Star’s improvement.
“She’s come on really well. She’s really thrived since being up here,” Duckworth said. “She didn’t eat that well in Sydney, but she’s eating much better up here.
“She’s not an overly big filly, but Luke Dittman galloped her and said for a small horse, she doesn’t ride like it. She’s certainly got the class and has the Group 1 form.”
Wallers other runners are Roses winner Only Words, Bracelet winner Grace And Harmony, Signora Nera, Easifar and Ruru.
Grace And Harmony had her Roses chances cruelled by a wide draw, but comes up with a softer alley this time, while Only Words draws out.
“(Grace And Harmony) has come through the run really well, she’s certainly on track,” Duckworth said.
Like McEvoy, Waller is seeking a fourth win in the Queensland Oaks. In addition to McEvoy’s duo, he of course also trained Winx to win the 2015 running of the race.