Day At The Track

Bonnie Joan on track for Oaks

09:17 AM 18 May 2017 NZST
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Bonnie Joan
HRNZ photo

Cran Dalgety expected Bonnie Joan to run in the top three of last week’s Nevele R Fillies Final, but the manner in which she produced the performance to dead-heat for second, left even the usually collected Dalgety suitably impressed.

Off a second line draw the Southland Oaks winner was fantastic in defeat, working hard to get outside the leader before applying the pressure inside the final 600 metres.

“It was a huge performance,” Dalgety said.

“I expected her to run a big race, but even that exceeded my expectations and probably justified the opinion I have of her in some ways too.”

The Somebeachsomewhere filly who has now won seven of her 12 career appearances gets her chance to go one better this week in the Group One $150,000 New Zealand Oaks, where instead of being handicapped by the barrier draw like she was last week, she’s now firmly in the box seat to make the play if her driver Dexter Dunn should choose to do so.

Even more pleasing for Dalgety this week however than the front line barrier draw has been the manner in which Bonnie Joan has come through last week’s assignment with flying colours.

“Dare I say it that she’s actually improved off the run which is quite encouraging from my perspective.

“She was bright and bubbly the next day and has really been good in her work this week so hopefully we are that little bit better again this week because we know we will have to be.”

With her good draw, the expectation is that Dunn might light the speedy filly up early to win the race to the markers and with Dunn’s knack of producing huge front-running drives in big races, an attempted all of the way performance isn’t out of the question.

Bookmakers have reacted to the performance of Bonnie Joan by enlisting her a $2.60 favourite behind last week’s Nevele R Fillies winner, Spanish Armada ($2.30) in their early markets.

They are the only two horses dominating the betting with the third line being held by Partyon who has the outside of the front line barrier draw of nine to contend with if she is to become a Northern and New Zealand Oaks winner.

 

Matt Markham

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