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Trainer Chris Waller chases his fifth win in the Group 1 $1 million Australian Oaks (2400m) on Saturday saddling-up the narrow favourite Hinged in a big field on Day 2 of The Championships.

Hinged | Photo: Steve Hart | Horseracing.com.au

Surround Stakes winning filly Hinged is one of the best in 2022 Australian Oaks betting at Randwick this weekend. Photo: Steve Hart.

One of four elite level races on the Royal Randwick card this weekend, the Australian Oaks field features 18 three-year-old fillies and the bookies have Hinged on top in gate 10 for jockey Brenton Avdulla.

The in-form daughter of Worthy Cause has had four runs this preparation including her Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) win at double-figures on a Heavy (10) Randwick track in February.

She took on the older mares and ran a strong third to Lighthouse at Rosehill in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) before fighting it out with stablemate Fangirl for a close second in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes at Newcastle.

The Vinery was run over an amended 1850m distance this year after being rescheduled from the earlier Rosehill wash-out, but remains the form line to follow into the Oaks.

Hinged heads Australian Oaks betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.80 to join Waller’s previous winners: Royal Descent (2013), Unforgotten (2018), Verry Elleegant (2019) and Hungry Heart (2021).

The other best out of the Vinery backing-up on Saturday is the David Vandyke-trained third placed Gypsy Goddess from the Sunshine Coast.

The Tarzino filly follows closely at $4.40 for the rematch on Saturday having suffered her first defeat when up in grade and racing outside of Queensland for the first time in the Vinery.

Her third placing might have been by a distant margin behind the two Waller fillies, but she is expected to eat-up the 2400m this weekend having won December’s Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2100m) at Eagle Farm by nearly four lengths last year.

The best of the last-start winners in this year’s ATC Oaks is the Godolphin-raced Honeycreeper ($4.80) on the seven-day back-up.

James Cummings’ Teofilo filly posted her third win at her 11th start with a runaway three-length victory in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) on Day 1 of The Championships.

Honeycreeper is drawn out in barrier 15 for her rise in grade and distance, but handled gate 13 of 15 in the Adrian Knox and has Hugh Bowman continuing his association.

The fellow Cummings-trained Colette (2020) for the Royal Blue brigade was the last filly to complete the Adrian Knox Stakes – Australian Oaks double.

Also coming off a win, one of the roughie hopes in the mix is the Greg Eurell-trained Hardly Sweet ($61) who was kept off the Heavy Sydney tracks last start.

Instead, Eurell opted to keep her at home in Victoria where the daughter of All Too Hard posted an easy win over 2025m on a Good (4) at Cranbourne as the odds-on favourite.

“We were thinking about running in Sydney in either the Vinery or the Adrian Knox, but because the weather was so bad, we held off,” the Cranbourne-based Eurell told The Advertiser this week.

“We thought, ‘why not stay in Melbourne and give her another run on a dry track?’

“Then she can come up here on fresh legs so to speak because she hasn’t been trouncing around in the mud for the last month or so.

“I don’t doubt some of them (in the Oaks) will be fatigued but whether it’s any serious fatigue, I don’t know,” Eurell said.

“A couple of Melbourne horses came up last weekend and won the Doncaster and the (Australian) Derby.

“They had stayed in Melbourne and hadn’t had a lead-up run in Sydney and it worked for them.

“There has to be a little bit of merit in it.”

The 2022 Australian Oaks is scheduled as Randwick Race 6 at 2:35pm (AEST) on Saturday’s 10-race card.

 

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.