Trainer Luke Oliver has been thrilled with the form and class displayed by Kansas Sunflower since returning to racing this time but concedes she will need a lot of luck to figure in contention in Saturday’s 2015 Australasian Oaks (2400m) from the outside gate.
Finishing outside the first three only a handful of times through her nine career starts so far, Kansas Sunflower won the Industry Kitchens Maiden Plate (1200m) at a jog first-up on March 15th; progressing to success in the Denis Walter Afternoons Trophy (1600m) at Flemington on April 11th before making a competitive transition to black type racing when second in the Group 3 Auraria Stakes (1800m) a fortnight ago.
Having performed well from what turned out to be an unideal draw at Morphettville last time out, Oliver is confident Kansas Sunflower is capable of competing well in the 2015 Australasian Oaks but believes she’ll need more than luck.
“It’s a Group 1 and you never know,” Oliver told Racing Victoria.
“When we were there two weeks ago we drew one and it ended up being that you wanted to draw out that day.
“Six of the first seven home in that race drew 10 and beyond so there’s always a chance it won’t be a bad thing.
“Obviously it makes it tough, especially when you see horses like Fontein Ruby and Fenway drawing well.
“You’d think to beat those sort of horses you’d need all the favours and you’re not going to get them from barrier 20.
“The whole prep has been around getting her to this race. She’s been perfect the whole way through.”
Kansas Sunflower laid a great account for herself through her maiden racing season in 2014; placing second in the Costanzo Auto Repairs Maiden (1107m) and fourth in the Yellowglen Plate (1400m) before running on for a credible fifth in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (1600m) on October 25th most notably.
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