Schweppes Oaks 2015: Fontein Ruby’s a gem, with Mark Zahra to take the premier fillies race   Leave a comment

Schweppes Oaks 2015: Fontein Ruby’s a gem, with Mark Zahra to take the premier fillies race

Mark Zahra rides Fontein Ruby to victory in the Alexandra Stakes at Moonee Valley last mo

Mark Zahra rides Fontein Ruby to victory in the Alexandra Stakes at Moonee Valley last month. Picture: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

LEADING Victorian jockey Mark Zahra will continue his association with top-flight filly Fontein Ruby in Saturday’s $400,000 Schweppes Oaks at Morphettville.

Zahra has ridden the Robert Smerdon-trained three-year-old in 10 of her 17 starts, winning five including the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes.

Jockey Mark Zahra. Picture: Ian Currie

Jockey Mark Zahra. Picture: Ian Currie Source: News Corp Australia

Fontein Ruby is the clear favourite at $3.30 in early TattsBet fixed-odds markets for the Group 1 test over 2000m on the first day of the three-week AdelaideRacing Carnival.

The winner of more than $1 million showed her readiness for Saturday’s blue-riband event with a dominant display in the $250,000 Gold Reef at Caulfield on April 18 when ridden by Nicholas Hall.

Zahra is certainly no stranger to the big stage. The 32-year-old was the first-choice Victorian jockey for powerful international stable Darley for several years, giving him the opportunity to ride a number of world-class horses such as brilliant youngster Sepoy.

One of Fontein Ruby’s biggest Oaks rivals, second favourite Fenway ($4), has already arrived in Adelaide to prepare for the Group 1 race.

Her trainer Shannon Hope said the filly seemed to have recovered well from a hoof abscess and was scheduled to gallop at Morphettville on Tuesday.

WA Oaks and Derby winner Delicacy, who has built an imposing record in her home state with eight wins from 12 starts for earnings of more than $850,000, also is settling into her Adelaide surrounds after making the trip South Australia on the weekend.

Top Perth hoop William Pike, who was on board for both the Oaks and Derby triumphs, will again take the mount on Saturday for trainer Grant Williams.

Delicacy is on the fourth line of betting at $10 in TattsBet markets.

TattsBet spokesman Gerard Daffy said he expected the top fancies to show the way in the Schweppes Oaks.

“It’s a typical Oaks race where they fall away pretty quickly from a betting perspective after the favourites,” Daffy said.

“Derbys and Oaks are predominantly won by the obvious ones.

“Pretty much every time Fontein Ruby has raced, she has been heavily backed and its form warrants it being the favourite over Fenway, who’s had a little setback.”

SCHWEPPES OAKS

$3.30 FONTEIN RUBY

$4 Fenway

$9 Ballet Suite, Wine Tales

$10 Delicacy

$13 Cathy’s Mark

$14 Kansas Sunflower

$17 Fitocracy, Ungrateful Ellen

$18 Choix De Maia, Sea Spray

$21 Bahamas, Jurasound, Lady Sharapova, Redasun

$26 or better others

MARKET: TattsBet fixed-odds

Originally published as Ruby’s a gem as Oaks field takes shape

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Posted April 27, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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