Runner by Runner: WA Oaks

1. Constant Dreaming (55.5kg)

Trainer: Adam Durrant
Jockey: Clint Johnston-Porter
Barrier: 4

Since being beaten as favourite first-up in a Class 1 at Geraldton in early February it has been smooth sailing through the filly’s features for Constant Dreaming having won the Ascot 1000 Guineas (1800) and Natasha Stakes (2200). Closely related to Tena Koutou (Aquinita Stakes winner) and Kia Ora Koutou (third Group 1 VIC Derby 2500m) she is giving every indication that the Oaks trip will suit her. Meets all of her Natasha Stakes rivals 2kg better at the weights for beating them home and is drawn a perfect alley. How do they turn the tables on her?

2. Feels Danish (55.5kg)

Trainer: Holly Taylor
Jockey: Troy Turner
Barrier: 10

Gritty filly who served it up to them in the Natasha Stakes with a clever sit and sprint front running ride from Troy Turner. After pulling in the one out one back position Turner whipped around them to take it up and then was able to turn the race into a sprint from the 600: First 1600m = 20L slower than average, last 600m = 5L faster than average. The Natasha was her chance to pinch one and will need another perfectly timed ride in the Oaks.

3. Mrs America (55.5kg)

Trainer: Grant Williams
Jockey: Patrick Carbery
Barrier: 7

Did everything wrong in the Natasha and still managed to run third. The obvious question arises out of that event: will she settle in the Oaks? Expect genius grand final trainer Grant Williams to make gear changes in an attempt to rectify her racing manners and expect her to run a race. By Triple Crown winning sire American Pharoah, himself a Group 1 winner at 2400m, she was no doubt bred by Peters Investments with this exact race in mind.

4. Rommel’s War (55.5kg)

Trainer: Neville Parnham
Jockey: Steven Parnham
Barrier: 1

Ran fourth in the Ascot 1000 Guineas beaten 3L and fifth in the Natasha Stakes beaten 2L. Was gifted a beautiful rails run in the Natasha when the sprint went on and hit the line as well as anything. Steven Parnham exuded confidence that she would run out the trip in the Oaks and she’s drawn to get an identical run in transit. Can she run them down? The eye says probably not. Can she run into a top 3 place? Absolutely.

5. Private Scene (55.5kg)

Trainer: Darren McAuliffe
Jockey: Joseph Azzopardi
Barrier: 2 

Identified by trainer Darren McAuliffe as his Oaks filly after her maiden victory at Belmont Park on 2 February and has since finished 2.7L off Blazing Away in a C3, 10L off Constant Dreaming in the Ascot 1000 Guineas and 1.7L behind the favourite in the Natasha. Put in an inglorious run in the Ascot 1000 Guineas but was far, far better in the Natasha when running fourth. Didn’t make the Steward’s Report but well worth noting she was wide without cover for the first 600m of the race trying to find a position. Was a strong effort.

6. Kia Ora Jewel (55.5kg)

Trainer: Sharon Miller
Jockey: Peter Knuckey
Barrier: 6 

The 2021 WA Oaks was won by a maiden (Lunar Impact), the 2019 WA Oaks was won by a maiden (Dark Choice), could the 2022 WA Oaks be won by one of the maidens in Kia Ora Jewel, Lady Chant or Arcadia Gem? Sharon Miller’s filly picked up Black Type in the Ascot 1000 Guineas when finishing third and showed in the Natasha Stakes it was no fluke when running the fastest L600 of the race. Unlikely to be turned into a true staying test but if something unexpected happened and the pace was turned on it would bring her into calculations.

7. Harvey’s Angel (55.5kg)

Trainer: Paul Jordan
Jockey: Craig Staples
Barrier: 5 

Last start maiden winner over 2300m at Pinjarra Park when beating a very limited bunch: the second horse was a 10 start maiden, the third horse a 14 start maiden and the fourth horse a 13 start maiden. Going to go round the roughie of the field at 50-1+ and on paper would need some divine intervention from Harvey Crossman. Can’t see her winning the Oaks but if she did you could just imagine that iconic toothy grin of content.

8. Queen Of Jerusalem (55.5kg)

Trainer: Greg Cave
Jockey: Shaun O’Donnell
Barrier: 8

Actually profiles like an Oaks type of filly. She’s chiming in at the end of the staying series and is lightly raced and seemingly progressive. Huge run at massive odds first-up at a mile, beaten a nose second-up and then had to pick up and sprint without any momentum last start when getting the better of Mystical Babe and Lady Chant in the shadows. Has a turn of foot, races tractably and Shaun O’Donnell on first time has been a recipe for success for a number of years. X-Factor runner.

9. Lady Chant (55.5kg)

Trainer: Brock Lewthwaite
Jockey: Shaun McGruddy
Barrier: 9 

Maiden filly who is only third-up in the campaign. Ran second fresh without a trial behind Keytrade (winner producing maiden with Market Stryke, Wicked Fox and Grace Du Roi winning their next starts) and then flashed at Queen Of Jerusalem and Mystical Babe late second-up at 1800m. Probably all coming a bit too soon for her but she’s got staying ability and a future.

10. Arcadia Gem (55.5kg)

Trainer: Grant Williams
Jockey: Chris Parnham
Barrier: 3

Races like she wants another lap. There is absolutely no doubt she’ll get the trip and while her run in the Natasha Stakes looked plain to the eye she did run the fastest L1200, L1000 and L800 of the race. Travels sweetly in the run but doesn’t have any discernible turn of acceleration. Logic says the way she wins the Oaks is if it’s turned into a slog.


Remains in black figures for the WA Oaks after the final field and the barrier draw which looks enough to get involved. She meets her Natasha Stakes rivals 2kg better at the weights and from the barrier Clint Johnston-Porter can allow the race to unfold in front of him until the 800 and then plot his path to victory.

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