On a day when the ATC Australian Oaks is run in Sydney, lightly raced Sequoia Lady will press her claims for a different Classic for fillies when she runs in a low-key race at Caulfield.
Trainer Jason Warren has Australasian Oaks ambitions for Sequoia Lady who is set to make her city debut on Saturday after winning a maiden by almost five lengths over 1600m at Pakenham at her second start.
Sequoia Lady finished third on debut at Pakenham in a maiden won impressively by subsequent Group One Vinery Stud Stakes winner Montoya’s Secret, while second-placed Rock Giselle has since won at Sandown.
“The form is terrific out of her first start and that’s why she was $1.80 favourite last start,” Warren said.
“Damian Lane rode her like the best horse in the race last start, and she was. She put them away pretty impressively in good time.
“We’re hoping that she will measure up as an Oaks filly in Adelaide.”
Warren said Saturday’s 1600m fillies handicap at Caulfield would be a stepping stone to the traditional Australasian Oaks lead-up, the Group Three Auraria Stakes (1800m) on April 22 at Morphettville.
The Group One Australasian Oaks (2000m) is on May 6.
Warren bought Sequoia Lady at the New Zealand ready-to-run sale in 2015 and said while she had shown she was a nice horse, he had to turn her out without racing last preparation to give her more time.
“She has always shown us that she’s a nice horse and then her public trials had been pretty average,” Warren said.
“Last preparation we put her away scratching our heads. The penny just hadn’t dropped with her and she hadn’t put it together.
“This time in she trialled well once and a little plainly once, so we were a little unsure going into her first start. But we were confident once she put the score on the board on debut.”
Warren said while Sequoia Lady was still relatively inexperienced and likely to be better again next preparation, he was excited to see what she could do on Saturday.
Sequoia Lady had galloped on the course proper at Mornington on Saturday ahead of her Caulfield assignment.
“She stretched out and ran really sharp time on her own,” Warren said.