Aristia going for Oaks crown at Flemington

Nov 07, 2018

Co-trainer Simon Zahra says Kennedy Oaks second favourite Aristia has actually improved after her Wakeful Stakes win and won’t have a problem backing up again at Flemington on Thursday.

Aristia picked the perfect time to break through for her maiden win when defeating Qafila and El Dorado Dreaming in last Saturday’s Group II Wakeful Stakes (2000m).

Zahra, who trains Aristia in partnership with Mathew Ellerton, said the three-year-old looked better on Wednesday morning than she did before the Wakeful Stakes.

“We had no hesitation accepting with her because we think she has come on if anything from the Wakeful,” Zahra said.

“She probably looks better than she did on Saturday.

“She didn’t have a hard run on Saturday so she’s going into the race in good order.

“She has eaten everything that we’ve put in front of her, so everything is going really well leading into the Oaks.”

Aristia has raced well over 2000m at her last two starts but Zahra said the daughter of Lonhro was in the same boat as the other Kennedy Oaks contenders in that the 2500m of the $1 million was an unknown.

“Like the rest of them, the distance is the unknown, but she has got the 2000m strongly at her two tries at that and there doesn’t look to be a great amount of pressure in the Oaks,” Zahra said.

“When she gets cover, she just goes to sleep so that’s a good sign.

“I’m not worried if there’s any cut in the ground. She won’t mind that.”

Jockey Damian Lane, who rode Aristia to her Wakeful Stakes win, will be aboard again in the Kennedy Oaks.

Lane should give Aristia every chance to run the trip from barrier four.

While Aristia will chase $1 million in prizemoney in the Kennedy Oaks, Ellerton Zahra Racing will also run Propelle in the Group 3 Roses Stakes (1100m) and Essence Of Terror in the Listed Absolut Stakes (1000m).

Propelle earned a chance in a stakes race with her excellent first-up win at Moonee Valley.

"She’s in good shape and her win at Moonee Valley was excellent," Zahra said.

"She’s been working really well since her first-up win and I’m actually surprised she’s at that price in the betting."

Essence Of Terror raced on the speed but was narrowly beaten at Moonee Valley on October 26 after she got the money over 955m at the same track a month previously.

"We've been really happy with the way she came back this time in," Zahra said.

"She gave weight to the winner and was only just beaten last start so we're happy to give her a go down the straight."

Lane will also ride Propelle while Dwayne Dunn sticks with Essence Of Terror.

Good luck to the owners of all of our runners on Thursday and thanks again to our wonderful staff for having the horses in such terrific condition for their Flemington races.