Members of the fully-subscribed Cranbourne Club 21 ownership group will be hoping for a minor miracle when their promising filly Naked Ambition takes on a crack field in the Group 1 Victoria Trotters Oaks at Melton on Saturday night.
This year’s edition of the time-honoured classic is brim full of classy fillies headed by the all-conquering Pink Galahs. The Matthew Craven trained three-year-old has produced phenomenal performances at her past two starts winning both the Somethingaboutmaori Free For All against the best open age mares in the land and the Bill Collins Sprint in a blistering 1:54 mile rate.
Understandably, Pink Galahs will start a red-hot odds-on favourite and barring accidents looks to have one hoof on the victory dais already. But connections of her opponents still live in hope of a major upset and trainer Dylan Stratford and driver Scott Ewen are dreaming of what might be.
Naked Ambition has won four races and been placed on another four occasions from her thirteen career starts to date. She resumed from a short let-up recently with a solid effort when second behind the really smart colt Andover Sun and then won at Melton in open age company on the 18th September.
A daughter of the handy race-mare and outstanding broodmare Starcus, Naked Ambition rounded off her preparation for the Oaks with a luckless run in the Aldebaran Park Starlet at Cranbourne. Eased off the gate from her extreme front row draw, Naked Ambition drifted back to the tail of the field after the start and struggled to make ground in the final 800 metres which was run in a slick 58.4 seconds.
Naked Ambition’s chances on Saturday night appear to have been boosted by a favourable inside front row draw and Stratford is upbeat about his filly.
“The draw is a massive help. There’s just so much depth in this race and to draw the pole gives us a chance of settling in a handy position early,” Stratford said. “In the past barrier one has been a bit of a bogey draw but Scotty and I had a chat about it as soon as the fields came out and he thinks she’ll handle it alright. I can see her sitting three back on the pegs and if that’s how it plays out I’d expect her to be running on at the finish.”
The Victoria Trotters Oaks is race 6 on the program at Melton and will be run at 8:32pm.
By CHRC Media