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Barrier draw adds to Oaks intrigue

By Matt Markham

A second line draw for the likely pre-post favourite and an outside of the front line draw for her high class stable mate has done enough just to throw some murky cloud over Friday night’s Group One New Zealand Oaks at Addington.

Last Friday night’s Nevele R Fillies Final winner, Spanish Armada was handed the outside of the second line as she shoot for a second Group One victory in seven days while Partyon has been given the much despised barrier of nine from behind the mobile arm.

While a step up to 2600 metres should negate many of the issues for Spanish Armada, who has shown she is good enough to do work in her races and still find the required at the business end of a race, it does leave the door slightly ajar for her rivals.

In particular Bonnie Joan, who showed she’s as good as anything else going around at the moment with her bold dead-heat effort for second with Delightful Memphis last Friday night behind Spanish Armada.

With high early speed the Cran Dalgety trained filly should be able to get across and find the markers before any of her rivals in the $150,000 event.

Delightful Memphis hasn’t been quite as well served in the draw as what she was a week ago, despite picking up the same marble.

The Mark Jones trained filly will start from the inside of the second row for the second time in a week, but doesn’t have the luxury of following a favoured runner through on Friday night.

Northern Oaks runner-up, Juice Brogden will bring fresh legs to the party after missing the Nevele R Final for her trainer Nicky Chilcott and will have the advantage of drawing inside Bonnie Joan with the potential to follow her across.

With more than $750,000 worth of stake money up for grabs on Friday night there will be plenty of attention on Addington.

Trotting star Enghien will make an appearance, and start a short priced favourite in the $80,000 NZ Yearling Sales Series Final for the three-year-old trotters while Alta Maestro and Spankem look well drawn to dominate the $170,000 Sires Stakes final for the two-year-old male pacers.

Elle Mac, the unbeaten two-year-old filly will have to overcome an outside of the front line draw if she is to keep her winning record intact and win the NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Fillies Final.

The night’s open class feature, the Winter Cup will see a number of those pointing towards next month’s Harness Jewels having another hit out with Piccadilly Princess needing a top three finish if she is to make her way into the Top 12 for the Four-Year-Old Diamond category.

 

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