Sydney’s First Lady in racing, Gai Waterhouse, will again employ a highly successful tactic in Saturday’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben.
Waterhouse’s only chance in the race, Bohemian Lily, is on the seven-day back-up and will be aiming to do what many of her stablemates have done previously – improve and win.
Trainers using the seven-day back-up technique have met with mixed results with the industry average seeing just seven percent of gallopers win within seven days of a previous run.
But Waterhouse’s strike rate is three times above the average and she has clearly devised a winning formula.
WPR compiler Daniel O’Sullivan of The Ratings Bureau, told News Corp Waterhouse’s record with horses backing up into Group races provides the bigger concern for Bohemian Lily’s Queensland Oaks rivals.
“For more than a decade Gai Waterhouse has been enormously successful with the seven day back-up tactic in preparation for Group races,” O’Sullivan said.
“Her strike rate of 22.3 percent for a profit on turnover of 60 per cent (from 143 runners) is an incredible performance figure, when you consider the industry average is only seven percent strike rate and 16 percent loss.
“It highlights her tremendous success at winning these important races on a quick back up but also the fact her runners have on average performed much better than the market expected them to.”
Most recently, Pornichet, who proved successful in the Listed Toowoomba Cup (2150m), backed up just seven days later and claimed a most impressive victory in the Group 1 Doobmen Cup (2000m).
The now retired Hampton Court won the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at big odds after winning the Dulcify a week before, as have many more of Waterhouse’s gallopers.
Winx and Bohemian Lily recorded 101.5 WPR ratings at their most recent starts, which ranks much highter to the past four Oaks winners in their final lead-up.
“In terms of splitting the two, it’s very difficult,” O’Sullivan said.
“Winx must rightfully be assessed as having a better winning chance, because she was disadvantaged getting a long way back last time but produced stunning sectionals, which indicated she could have rated higher had there been more speed in the race.
“However, she’s $2.50 and Bohemian Lily is $5, so the value edge in my opinion lies with Bohemian Lily. She has the right last-start form and rating and should have a position in running advantage over Winx.”
O’Sullivan said no other fillies meet the last start criteria of the past four winners, and while Ballet Suite has beaten both Bohemian Lily and Winx in the past, she has an inferior rating.
Jockey Blake Shinn has complete confidence in Waterhouse’s timing and appeared ultra-confident in his mount’s chances when he took to Twitter after the barrier draw.
Story courtesy Nathan Exelby Brisbane Courier Mail