Westbury Stud will be well-represented in Saturday’s G1 Australian Oaks when it chases a third slice of the winning action in the fillies’ classic at Randwick.
The Karaka nursery reared and sold past heroines Bonneval (2017) and Sofia Rosa (2016) and has close ties to a quartet of in-form contenders on Saturday.
Stud principal Gerry Harvey bred and races the Redwood filly Pink Ivory, while Gypsy Goddess and Velvet Lady will fly the Tarzino flag in the 2400 metre feature and Reliable Man’s daughter Lekvarte is a farm graduate.
Gypsy Goddess is a A$4.20 co-favourite for the Oaks with the John Sargent-prepared Pink Ivory also well in the market at A$6. She has won two of her five starts and was doing her best work late in the Vinery to run fifth, an effort that secured the booking of James McDonald.
“She is right on top of her game, she’s got a better draw so we will ride her a bit more positively and she handles the wet ground. I think she’s right in the race,” Sargent said.
“It’s going to be a slog on Saturday, but she’s by Redwood out of a Group 1 winner so she’s got the breeding to do the job.
“Gerry has been very faithful and supportive and has always had two or three horses with me, as he does with a lot of trainers. Hopefully, I can repay him with an Oaks win with a filly out of one of his favourite horses in Lotteria.”
Multiple Group 1-winning Redoute’s Choice mare Lotteria hails from a tough New Zealand family that includes Oaks winner Starzaan, Bellota, Lord Reims and Rocket Racer and current form added this season by Group winners The Inferno, Marroni and Bellatrix Black.
Queenslander Gypsy Goddess was unbeaten in five home state appearances for trainer David Vandyke before she made ground well for third in the G1 Vinery Stud Stakes over 1850 metres at the relocated meeting at Newcastle. William Pike retains the Oaks ride.
Gypsy Goddess was bred by her part-owner, veterinarian Dr Chris Lawler, and failed to reach her $20,000 reserve when offered as a yearling at Karaka by Curraghmore.
Lawler subsequently approached Bob Jones, a major Vandyke stable supporter, and he has taken a significant holding and that’s proved a smart piece of business.
The Tarzino filly is also out of a Redoute’s Choice mare in Invisible Coin, who is a sister to the G1 Flight Stakes winner Cheeky Choice.
Velvet Lady booked her Oaks berth with a strong victory over 2200 metres, her second over ground on the bounce, at Scone earlier this week for trainer John Ramsey.
He purchased the Bradbury Park-bred filly at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale with Matt Scown Bloodstock for A$40,000. Her pedigree features the G2 Emancipation Stakes winner Sworn To Secrecy and the hardy stakes-winning Kiwi stayer Guns At Five.
Lekvarte returned a handy last-start trial when fourth over a middle distance at Doomben and the Joseph Pride-trained representative was bought out of Westbury’s Karaka draft for $210,000 with BK Racing & Breeding and Andrew Williams Bloodstock signing the ticket.
The grey is out of the Group-performed Encosta De Lago mare Plumm and the family of the G2 Autumn Classic winner and G1 VRC Derby runner-up Extra Zero.
Westbury stallion Reliable Man will also be represented by a live winning chance in the G1 Queen of the Turf Stakes with Annavisto in grand form.
The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained four-year-old won the G3 Frances Tressady Stakes at Flemington two runs back and followed up with a sound effort for fourth in the G3 Emancipation Stakes at Newcastle.