Rose Of Peace needs to impress in Saturday’s $250,000 Inglis Guineas at Scone if she is to get another shot at an Oaks victory in Queensland.
The Gary Portelli-trained filly came in near the tail of the field in the Group One AJC Australian Oaks (2400m) last month but has been freshened ahead of the 1600m Scone feature.
The daughter of Hussonet is nominated for both the Queensland Oaks and Queensland Derby and her performance at Scone will determine whether she heads north.
“If she runs well then we go to Queensland and if not she’ll go straight for a spell,” stable representative Troy Portelli said.
“She is going terrific, since she had a week out on the water walker after the Oaks she has come back really on top of her game.
“Even her trackwork rider said he can’t believe she is coming back from 2400 metres because she’s been feeling like a sprinter on the track.”
Rose Of Peace was aimed at the AJC Australian Oaks this preparation and resumed with a maiden victory at Hawkesbury over 1300m in February.
She then produced a slashing third behind Parables and Red Tracer in the Group Two Surround Stakes (1400m) before a third over 1600 metres at Warwick Farm and then eighth in the Group Three Adrian Knox (2000m) in her final Oaks lead-up.
Things didn’t go according to plan on Oaks day at Randwick on a heavy surface, with Rose Of Peace 15th of the 16 runners.
“She’s a lovely horse and is stoutly bred with some classic horses on her dam side,” Portelli said.
“On that you would say she should be able to stay but unfortunately she met a heavy track in her ultimate staying test (in the AJC Oaks) and just hated it.
“Hopefully we can get her to that distance again, either in Queensland or next preparation, but on a good track to see what she can do.”
Rose Of Peace is the third favourite at $11 for Saturday’s Inglis sale-restricted three-year-old feature behind dominant favourite Sincero ($1.55) and Hawkesbury Guineas runner-up Speediness ($4.60).
The filly will jump from barrier two and Portelli said jockey Brenton Avdulla would look to take advantage of the draw.
“She’s drawn perfectly and the blinkers have come off for this race,” Portelli said, with winkers to go back on.
“With the blinkers on (in the Oaks) she was a bit slow away but we took the blinkers off last week in a trial and she pinged the gates like a Gazelle.
“That’s what we’ll look for again to take a bit more forward spot because in a smaller field they are probably going to go a bit slower.”