New Zealand trainer Donna Logan is using a tried-and-true method in her quest for an Australian Oaks win with Valley Girl.
The filly will arrive in Sydney this week for her lead-up run in Saturday’s Group One Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill, two weeks before the Classic at Randwick.
Logan won the 2014 Oaks with Rising Romance after that filly ran second in the NZ Derby and fourth in the Vinery won by Lucia Valentina.
After her Group One weight-for-age win in the Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa, Valley Girl ran fifth in the Derby earlier this month with just half a length separating the first five.
“She had a difficult barrier (18) and got a little bit further back than she needed to be in the Derby,” Logan said.
“There was also a skirmish leaving the straight the first time so it was a great effort.
“She generally races midfield.
“Coming back to 2000 metres won’t worry her. She can handle it wet or dry.”
Hong Kong-based Australian jockey Brett Prebble will ride Valley Girl who travels to Australia on Wednesday.
“She is a very level-headed filly and I’m sure she will take the trip in her stride,” Logan said.
Valley Girl was an $11 chance in the Vinery on Monday after opening at $15 alongside fellow New Zealander Capella who finished fourth in the Derby.
The market is headed by VRC Oaks winner Jameka who is at $3.50 following her third in Saturday’s Rosehill Guineas won by Tarzino.
Risque, the NZ 1000 Guineas winner now with David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, is at $4.60 with her stablemate Stay With Me at $6.
There were 20 entries taken on Monday for the Vinery which has a field limit of 14 plus four emergencies.
Jameka is also the favourite for the Oaks at $4.60 ahead of Risque at $6 with Valley Girl and Capella in a group on $11.
Logan, who trains in partnership with Chris Gibbs, will also bring Volkstok’n’barrel back to Sydney.
Last year’s Rosehill Guineas winner has recovered from a lacklustre Melbourne spring, posting two recent Group One wins at home and he will run in the Doncaster Mile on Saturday week.