Khutulun to head north for Queensland Oaks

Victorian filly Khutulun will head north for the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31 after connections paid the late entry fee yesterday.

Jockey Ben Melham, above, will head to Brisbane to ride Khutulun in the Queensland Oaks.

Jockey Ben Melham, above, will head to Brisbane to ride Khutulun in the Queensland Oaks. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Caulfield trainer Luke Oliver supported the move to pay the $11,550 late fee after Khutulun pleased him with a late finishing second to Sonntag over 2000m at Caulfield last Saturday and the filly will be among the first acceptances for the Queensland Oaks today.

“She has come through the run really well and Ben Melham has been booked to ride her,” Oliver told AAP.

“So it’s all systems go.”

Melbourne jockey Ben Melham will also head to Queensland to ride Khutulun and will be looking for better luck after running into trouble at the 200m last Saturday when having his first ride on the Soldier’s Tale filly.

Oliver can see no trouble with Khutuloun handling the 2400m of the Queensland Oaks after working to line strongly at the end of the 2000m last Saturday.

“She hit the line really hard on Saturday and didn’t have much luck,” Oliver said.

“She has come through it even better than some of her other runs.”

The David Vandyke trained Arabian Gold promoted herself to the head of the market order for the Queensland Oaks with a dominant win in the Group 2 $175,000 XXXX Gold The Roses (2000m) at Doomben last Saturday.

But Oliver is questioning Arabian Gold’s ability at the 2400m and has no queries about his filly running the journey.

“Arabian Gold is going to be very hard to beat, but she’s got to be a bit of a query at the distance and I’m pretty confident this filly will run the trip no worries.”

The lightly race Khutulun has been placed at her last two starts since winning over 1600m in a three year old BenchMark 78 at the Saturday meeting at Sandown on April 26.

Her other win was on debut in a 1212m Maiden at Sale on March 23.

Khutulun is due to leave Melbourne next Wednesday and will be accompanied on her flight to Brisbane by Robert Smerdon’s fillies Rezoned and Every Faith.

Arabian Gold has continued to firm in the Queensland Oaks market order at and is now the raging hot favourite at $2, well ahead of the Kiwi filly Rock Diva with Khutulun marked  at $8 while Rezoned is at $11 and Every Faith at $26.

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About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.