The Patinack Farm 100th AJC Australian Oaks market suggests Derby-winning filly Shamrocker can finally turn the tables on Brazilian Pulse at Randwick on Saturday, but Mike Moroney isn’t conceding the $550,000 Group 1 just yet.
While respectful of what Danny O’Brien’s star achieved when she beat the boys in last week’s $1.5 million Derby, the Flemington trainer is happy with his stable star and remains confident she can become the 16th filly to complete the VRC-AJC Oaks double in what shapes as the strongest AJC Oaks in years.
In addition to Brazilian Pulse and Shamrocker, blowout Vinery Stud Stakes winner Mirjulisa Lass, the consistent Fibrillation, classy Victorians Do Ra Mi and Pinker Pinker and Group 1 Oaks placegetters Placement and Absolutely are also running.
“It’s going to be a good Oaks this year,” Moroney said. “With the first filly in 22 years to win the Derby and the filly that won our race the other day (Mirjulisa Lass) was quite strong too, so it should be a good race.”
The barrier draw would have done little to dampen Moroney’s confidence after Brazilian Pulse came up with the inside barrier for the 2400-metre event.
That should ensure there is no repeat of the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), when the daughter of Captain Rio was trapped three-wide throughout and did well to fight on for third behind Mirjulisa Lass and Fibrillation.
Shamrocker (four), the Peter Moody-trained Do Ra Mi (two), Damien Oliver’s mount Fibrillation (eight) and the Mick Kent-trained Absolutely (three) also drew to advantage.
Greg Eurell’s Pinker Pinker (10) and Shamrocker’s stablemate Placement (11) drew slightly worse than the middle of the 17-horse field, but Mirjulisa Lass (17) was handed the nightmare outside alley.
The draw presents Brazilian Pulse, who will again be partnered by Craig Williams, with the chance to maintain her perfect record against Shamrocker. They raced three times last Spring with Brazilian Pulse beating home the daughter of O’Reilly each time.
They finished second and third respectively behind Sistine Angel in the Edward Manifold Stakes, Shamrocker had excuses when 15th behind Brazilian Pulse in the Wakeful Stakes, while O’Brien’s filly led home the field behind Brazilian Pulse in the Crown Oaks.
Despite that, Brazilian Pulse was posted at $4.20 in TAB Sportsbet’s post-Oaks barrier draw market with Shamrocker the $2.90 favourite.
Brazilian Pulse has had three runs this time in, finishing among the placings at each occasion.
She resumed with a fine second to Do Ra Mi in the 1400m Kewney Stakes the day that Shamrocker won the Australian Guineas (March 12), then won the Keith Nolan Classic (1800m) on March 26 before her courageous Vinery Stud Stakes effort seven days later.
Moroney said although beaten the Vinery Stud Stakes effort importantly provided more experience the Sydney way of racing and that she had done well since.
“She’s had plenty of practice (racing clockwise) now, so I can’t say that’s going to be an excuse at all,” he said. “She seems to be fine this way around and she’s had a good prep going into the Oaks.
“It probably wasn’t quite ideal that we had to back her up early in the prep, but the two weeks in between runs should be ideal.”
Brazilian Pulse is one of two Group 1 runners for Moroney at Randwick on Saturday with comeback sprinter King Pulse to contest the $350,000 The James Boag Galaxy (1100m) after chasing home Black Caviar at his only two runs back from a year-long spell.