Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Chris Munce holds the honour of being the most successful jockey in Queensland Oaks history with four wins but Scott Seamer hopes to edge closer aboard Crafty Lady at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Seamer earned his own place in the history books with his deeds on Kiwi Ethereal
10 years ago when she won the Group One Queensland Oaks before going on to score again at the elite level in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups the same year.
Seamer's second Queensland Oaks triumph came aboard the Peter Moody-trained Riva San in 2008 and a third will put him alongside Mick Dittman and the late Andy Tindall who are second to Munce with three victories since the race's inception in 1951.
, Crafty Lady is prepared by Sheila Laxon who now trains in partnership with John Symons at Seymour in Victoria.
Crafty Lady is a $41 chance in the Queensland Oaks with TAB Sportsbet but Seamer believes she deserves to be much shorter.
"She's a progressive filly and has improved every start," Seamer said.
"I rate her a good chance and she's bred to get the distance."
Munce did not have a ride in this year's 2400-metre feature until a late booking on Wednesday for Kembla Grange-trained filly Black Sparta.
Black Sparta is a Queensland Oaks outsider at $61 following her second over 1800 metres on a heavy track in a restricted race at the Gold Coast on May 25.
The daughter of Desert King has only started nine times with her best result coming in a Kembla maiden victory on April 23.
Munce's previous Oaks winners were Giovana (2000), Zagalia (2003), Vouvray (2004) and last year with Miss Keepsake.
Dittman's Oaks winners were Denise's Joy (1976), A Little Kiss (1990) and Triscay in 1991 while Tindall, who became a highly-respected chief steward after his riding days were over, was successful aboard Maltmaid (1951), Lady Hannah (1952) and Mian Mir in 1954.
Crafty Lady drew barrier five in the Queensland Oaks with favourite Scarlett Lady drawing gate nine.
Laxon doesn't regard Crafty Lady as being in the same class as Ethereal
but is hopeful the Queensland Oaks is within her grasp.
"John is up there with her and he's thrilled with the way she is going," Laxon said.
"She's a very strong filly but her only handicap is she doesn't settle well."
Crafty Lady has won two of her 11 starts and is coming off a last-start second to Mr Light Blue in three-year-old company at Ipswich on May 20.
The Barry Baldwin-trained Mr Light Blue subsequently franked the form when finishing a courageous second to the Moody-trained Turnitup in the Group Three Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Connections of Mr Light Blue have paid a late entry fee to start the three-year-old in the Group One Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday week.