Day At The Track

Queensland Oaks field taking shape

11:44 PM 20 Jun 2010 NZST
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De Lovely and David Butcher return to
De Lovely and David Butcher return to - scale after winning the Group Two Ladyship Stakes tonight.
Duane Ranger photo

You win some, you lose some. That was the outcome for Harness Racing Queensland officials over the weekend with speculation ending surrounding brilliant New Zealand filly De Lovely being a possible Gold Coast/Queensland Oaks starter.

The Gr.3 $30,000 Gold Coast Oaks is scheduled for this Friday night (June 25) whilst the Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Oaks is programmed for the following week at Albion Park.

Trainer Geoff Small confirmed that his star filly won't be making the trip to Queensland owing to unsuitable travel arrangements.

Queensland's loss will be Victoria's gain with connections still keen to test the Australian waters with their star filly and have penciled in an Australian Oaks/Australasian Breeders Crown campaign during the months of July and August.

"We couldn't get a direct flight from Auckland to Brisbane, we could fly her to Sydney and then road up but that is asking too much of the filly" Small explained.

"We wanted to be there, that's for sure but the travel was just not fair on the filly" Small added.

Harness Racing Queensland had the stage set for an epic Oaks showdown with powerhouse West Australian filly Millwood Meg, Victoria Oaks winner Charlotte Brew plus classy local fillies Abbey Tiara and Torque In Motion all set to clash with De Lovely in the first of the Winter Carnival features.

"We can get direct flights to Melbourne so we will end up heading that way, the Australian Oaks and the Breeders Crown will now be the focus" Small said.

"We may end up getting the chance of clashing with those good fillies in Melbourne anyhow, they all read up very well" Small added.

Meanwhile, Victoria Oaks winner Charlotte Brew is still bound for the Queensland winter sunshine despite her shock loss at Penrith last Thursday night.

The John Tapp trained filly pulled ferociously and wilted to fourth after leading.

"The filly just raced too keenly, she was very much on the fresh side and beat herself in the end" Tapp stated.

"Importantly, she has come through the race well and we will head up to Brisbane during the week - we will push on" Tapp added.

A driver is yet to be confirmed for the daughter of Mach Three with Greg Bennett committed to Sydney's Harold Park meeting whilst Victoria Oaks winning driver Greg Sugars is also committed to Melbourne's Melton meeting.

Pre-post favourite Millwood Meg has continued to thrive since her arrival in Brisbane a week ago according to caretaker trainer Luke McCarthy.

"She has settled in perfectly, she is in excellent order and she's ready to go" McCarthy beamed.

The in-form reinsman will partner Millwood Meg in the Gold Coast Oaks before regular pilot Colin Brown reunites with the brilliant filly the following week in the Queensland Oaks at Albion Park.



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