Fillies from the Robert Smerdon stable could dominate the make-up of the VRC Oaks field, depending on the outcome of the Wakeful Stakes.
Smerdon has the two market leaders for the Oaks in Crafty and Lumosty, who both go to next Thursday’s Classic without running in the traditional lead-up on Saturday.
Fontein Ruby is also being aimed at the Oaks but will first be out to add the Group Two Wakeful at Flemington to her recent wins in the Edward Manifold Stakes and Caulfield Classic.
She will be joined in the Wakeful by stablemate Savage Coup, who also remains in Oaks contention.
“I’ve always had a good opinion of her,” Smerdon said of Savage Coup, a Savabeel filly who beat just one runner home in the Ethereal Stakes last start.
“She needed the run last start so it’s really a watershed day for her as to which direction she goes.
“If she performs well enough and handles it and pulls up well enough, we may consider going to the Oaks. But she would have to step right up.”
Savage Coup is a $35 chance in the Wakeful with Fontein Ruby just being shaded for favouritism by Godolphin filly Abduction.
Fontein Ruby overcame a distance query and the outside barrier to wim the $750,000 Caulfield Classic (2000m).
“She’s just so resilient,” Smerdon said.
“She doesn’t do any more on the track than any other horse, but she’s just got a very, very competitive nature.
“Her last two starts have demonstrated that. She looked beaten both times but just kicked back both times and has beaten good horses.”
Fontein Ruby has to contend with another wide barrier again in Saturday’s race as well as 57kg.