An absorbing battle looms in Friday night’s Ladbrokes-sponsored Group 2 Richmond Oaks Final (535m) with some of the country’s best female sprinters lining up for the highly anticipated $40,000 to-the-winner decider.
Setting the time-standard for the finale is the Anthony Azzopardi-trained Blue Sky Riot, the Group 1 National Futurity winner simply electric in defeating grand Group 1 winning galloper Up Hill Jill by 2 ¼ lengths in her qualifier, posting a flying 30.44.
Making her official Richmond debut, the daughter of Barcia Bale and Ready To Riot ran an incredible 5.17 first section on way to Friday night’s devastating heat success, and a repeat of that performance Friday night will go a long way to securing a second group race victory for the February ’16 whelp in 2018.
For Up Hill Jill, trainer Dave Geall will be hoping his grand chaser can go one better than last year’s Group 2 Richmond Oaks decider where the daughter of Premier Fantasy finished second to fellow Victorian Mumma Josie.
Runner-up now at each of her three Richmond assignments, Up Hill Jill has drawn box three for Friday night’s finale where she has undeniable claims given her enviable CV – one that has amassed over half-a-million in prizemoney.
Recent Bathurst Cup victor Miss Splendamiro maintained her fantastic recent form in her qualifier recording 30.46 for trainer Hank Vanderburg and despite drawing trickily in box seven – inside Blue Sky Riot – heads into the final with fantastic prospects as she continues her lofty rise through the grades.
Regally bred galloper Poco Dorado has drawn box one for Friday night’s Richmond Oaks after putting up an outstanding performance to claim her qualifier in 30.75.
Yet to miss a cheque in nine Richmond appearances, Poco Dorado (Fernando Bale x Chica Destacada) has taken her form to another level in recent weeks for trainer John Finn, backing up her sizzling 29.68 Wentworth Park victory recently with Friday night’s mind-boggling come from behind heat success.
Friday night’s Group 2 Richmond Oaks Final is race eight on the program – due to get underway at 9.38PM AESTD.