Day At The Track

Dodolicious looks just too good

10:55 PM 04 May 2016 NZST
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Jodie Hallows (Paceway Photos)

When harness racing driver Greg Bond drove Slick Chic to victory in a two-year-old event in Kalgoorlie 16 years ago he didn’t have the slightest idea - or have any indication - that she would become one of his favourite horses.

Slick Chic was retired after that one win from just four starts, with earnings of $1580. Now she is poised to add further lustre to her standing as an outstanding brood mare with her eighth and most recent foal Dodolicious looking set to prove the master of her 11 rivals in the $150,000 Gannon’s WA Oaks at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

All eight of Slick Chic’s foals have been winners, with Dodolicious the stand-out, earning $242,733 from 11 wins and six seconds from 18 starts.

Dodolicious, bred, owned and trained by Greg Bond and his wife Skye, will start from barrier five in the 2536m classic and she is set to give Bond his second success in the WA Oaks. He trained the brilliant Millwood Meg, who dashed to an early lead and strolled to an easy victory over Arctic Fire in the 2010 Oaks.

Ryan Warwick will be in the sulky behind Dodolicious on Friday night and he looks certain to adopt similar tactics to those he used when he handled the filly in an Oaks prelude last Friday night. Dodolicious began speedily from the outside barrier (No. 9) before challenging unsuccessfully for the early lead.

The Spinster held out Dodolicious and Warwick was quite content to allow Dodolicious to settle in the breeze. She coasted to the front 250m from home and won by just under two lengths from the fast-finishing Dame Puissant, rating a smart 1.55.5 over the 2130m journey.

Two starts before that Dodolicious gave a superb performance to fight on powerfully to finish second to champion filly Our Dream About Me in the 2400m New South Wales Oaks at Menangle.

Bond started Slick Chic’s third foal Cuvee Riche in the 2008 WA Oaks in which she finished sixth behind Ruby Dazzler. She retired after 125 starts for $112,125 in prizemoney from ten wins and 30 placings. Slickalong, a six-year-old half-brother to Dodolicious, started the week in propitious style with a win at Kellerberrin on Sunday.

Dodolicious, a daughter of champion sire Bettor's Delight, appears certain to be at odds-on this week. Odds-on favourites (Millwood Meg, 9/10; Artemis Belle, 1/3; Sensational Gabby, 1/25; Frith, 4/7 and Libertybelle Midfrew, 1/10) won five successive Oaks before Major Reality (9/1) won last year, narrowly beating her stablemate Quite A Delight (6/1) and the 6/4 on favourite Tricky Styx.

After her decisive victory last Friday night, Warwick described Dodolicious as a grand trier. “She had to do all the work, sitting in the breeze,” he said. “She does just what she has to do, and she does it well. She shows great courage, and if you went to war, you would take her with you.”

Baldivis trainer Nathan Turvey  holds a strong hand in Friday night’s classic in which he has four runners, Our Gamma Lady (barrier one), Chevrons Champion (No. 9), Bethany Aitch (inside of the back line) and Better Boa (outside of the back line).

Our Gamma Lady, a filly by Mach Three, won once from seven starts in New Zealand and has impressed at her first three starts in Western Australia, winning at her only two appearances at Gloucester Park before working hard in the breeze and finishing third to Dior Mia More and Sheer Rocknroll at Bunbury.

Chevrons Champion, by Bettor's Delight and out of the unraced Dreamsaregold (a full-sister to former champion Christian Cullen), has raced 21 times for seven wins and six placings. But her prospects slumped when she drew the outside of the front line.

Bethany Aitch, winner of the $102,000 Diamond Classic at Bunbury last June, is favourably drawn on the inside of the back line, while Bettor Boa has place prospects from the outside (barrier No. 3) on the back line. She has had 11 starts as a three-year-old for six wins and two seconds.

Bettor Boa will be driven by Chris Lewis, who has won the WA Oaks four times, scoring with Jamcaro in 1988, Showtime Franco (1996), Sheer Royalty (2009) and Sensational Gabby (2012).

Henley Brook trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams is delighted with Dame Puissant’s recent efforts and he should have the Tintin In America filly in a prominent position throughout from her favourable No. 2 barrier. She started from the back line and was a 33/1 chance in last week’s prelude in which she was eighth on the pegs at the bell before finishing strongly to be second to Dodolicious.

Dame Puissant set a track record for two-year-old fillies at her previous outing, rating 1.56.2 over the 2536m journey. She sat behind the pacemaker Sheer Rocknroll before sprinting home fast to defeat Madame Croupier and Dior Mia More.

Madame Croupier (barrier two on the back line) and Dior Mia More (barrier No. 4 on the front line) are trainer Gary Hall’s representatives. Hall won the Oaks in 2004 with Miss Holmes.

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