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Trainer Graeme Rogerson is confident Scarlett Lady will win the Group One Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm ahead of talks in New Zealand on Monday to decide whether the filly follows the Ethereal path in Melbourne in the spring.

Rogerson acknowledges there are no certainties in racing but believes only bad luck can deny Scarlett Lady victory in Saturday’s $400,000 2400-metre feature.

“At this stage she’ll definitely be nominated for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups but we’ll know more whether she’ll go there after she runs in the Oaks,” Rogerson said.

“I couldn’t be any happier with her since she won The Roses and she’ll race very well but there’s no certainties in racing.”

New Zealand celebrates the Queen’s birthday on the first Monday in June but that day has been set aside for talks in Auckland between Rogerson and owner Max Whitby who will meet to decide if the filly will head to the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

“I’m going straight back to New Zealand after the Oaks and I’ve organised to meet up with Max in Auckland on Monday to discuss her spring campaign and the Melbourne Cup,” Rogerson said.

Ethereal crossed the Tasman to win the Queensland Oaks in 2001 before claiming the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups the same year.

Her trainer Sheila Laxon became the first woman to train a Melbourne Cup winner and she and co-trainer John Symons will be represented in the Queensland Oaks by Crafty Lady.

Ethereal is also the only filly to win the Group Three Doomben Roses and Queensland Oaks double, a feat Scarlett Lady will be attempting to equal.

Rogerson can see no reason why Scarlett Lady won’t stay 3200 metres and is keen to listen to Whitby’s opinion.

Whitby, a Sydney stockbroker, was recently elected as a director of the newly-formed Australian Turf Club.

Rogerson has never won a Queensland Oaks but Whitby was a shareholder in 2006 Oaks winner Allow who went on to run seventh in the Derby a week later.

“I’ve had a lot of success in Queensland since I was first invited over in 1983 by the then Racing Minister, Russ Hinze,” Rogerson said.

“I won the Stradbroke that year with Brenlaine but I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a runner in the Queensland Oaks.

“I originally planned to run her (Scarlett Lady) in the New Zealand Oaks but she had a setback so we then decided to run her in the autumn back home before targeting this race.”

Rogerson will wait until after the Queensland Oaks before deciding if Scarlett Lady will back up in next week’s Group One Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm.

He believes Scarlett Lady has all the attributes of developing into a powerful stayer as a mare.

“She’s not that big but she’s very well put together,” Rogerson said.

“You never know if they will stay until you try them but everything about her points to her staying.

“Her best attribute is she’s so relaxed when she races and she can run on any type of ground.”

Scarlett Lady is a daughter of the Rogerson-trained Cox Plate winner Savabeel from the New Zealand-bred On Call.

On Call started 49 times for nine wins and four placings which included a third in the Group Two New Zealand Cup at her only start over 3200 metres in 2001.


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