Day At The Track

Winter wonderland for Eastman

07:22 PM 29 Jul 2015 NZST
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Classy Victorian filly Morton Plains
Ace; Classy Victorian filly Morton Plains has drawn ideally in Saturday night's Gr.3 $30,000 Redcliffe Oaks

The wonderful Queensland winter campaign for the ‘Birchip Boys’ could end on a high this weekend.

Following the recent domination of stable star Menin Gate in the Queensland and Gold Coast Derby’s coupled with the fast finishing effort of classy filly Morton Plains in the Queensland Oaks, the 2015 stint in Brisbane has been filled with everlasting memories for trainer Larry Eastman and his loyal bunch of owners.

But there is one remaining target in sunny Queensland for the crew from Birchip – the Gr.3 $30,000 Redcliffe Oaks this Saturday night.

And victory with Morton Plains would cap a dream season.

“It’s been unbelievable this season and it’s stuff you never dream of because you never think it will happen to you, I’d never trained a Group One before this season and now I’ve got five of them plus many other features this term. We’ve enjoyed it immensely and we’ve celebrated long and hard, I just hope it never ends.” Shelbourne based trainer Eastman said.

While the Queensland campaign has been an extraordinary success, the season overall has been truly magnificent with feature race victories including the Victoria Derby plus a haul of Vicbred Super Series Finals through the deeds of Menin Gate, Morton Plains and Milly Perez.

All four Gr.1 victories came at TABCORP Park, Melton.

With Menin Gate now back in Victoria and being readied for the upcoming Australasian Breeders Crown series, Morton Plains has remained based in Brisbane and will start a clear favourite in the Oaks after landing the inside gate on the tight turning bayside track.

“This filly is not eligible for the Breeders Crown and therefore, the Redcliffe Oaks seemed a logical target for her which will ultimately end her season. I’m so proud of the job this filly has done this season and I think she’s got one more good effort left in her.

“Landing the inside gate is a major advantage at Redcliffe and it clearly takes some pressure off now, it takes all the guess work out of the race. Her effort in the Queensland Oaks against Fight For Glory was great and like many in the Queensland Derby, she had little or no chance considering the sectionals Pauly (Menin Gate) was running up front.

“I gave her trial yesterday (Tuesday) at Albion Park and she went really well, she got trapped on the pegs but hit the line hard once clear and the splits were impressive. That hit-out will bring her on for Saturday night and I’m pleased with the way she’s come through it, she’s enjoying Queensland but who doesn’t because it’s a great place and we’ve got some really good friends up here.”

Morton Plains finished a close-up fourth in the Victoria Oaks earlier this season.

Last season, Eastman finished second in the Redcliffe Oaks with Milly Perez, the race was won by local filly Charming Allie.

by Chris Barsby

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