Runner by Runner: WA Oaks

1. Own The Queen (55.5kg)

Trainer: Justine Erkelens
Jockey: Troy Turner
Barrier: 9

The dominant filly so far across the series and deserving favourite for the 2024 WA Oaks. This has all come very quickly for Own The Queen who only made her debut back at Ascot in the $50,000 Own The Dream Maiden on Westspeed Platinum Day back on the 23rd of December 2023. Less than 100 days later she’s looking to complete the Ascot 1000 Guineas – Natasha Stakes – WA Oaks Treble and write herself into the history books. Considering the Natasha is SWP and the WA Oaks is SW it’s really quite hard to see her jumping anything but odds on? She’s meeting the Natasha Stakes runners better at the weights for sprinting straight past them and showed no signs of stopping late.

2. Starating (55.5kg)

Trainer: Greg Kersley
Jockey: Jordan Turner
Barrier: 8

Sectionally was the run of the race in the Natasha Stakes outside of the winner – she recorded the fastest overall L1000, 800, 600, 400 & 200. Her individual furlong splits 400 – 200 and 200 – Post were the fastest in the race and she gives every indication she’ll stick out 2400m strongly. She’s again drawn to be rearward and it may well turn into a familial battle of tactics as Jordy Turner tries out fox his father Troy; Old Buck (said with love) vs Young Bull. The Kersley family know how to condition a horse for a staying test and this filly could well loom as the biggest threat to the favourite.

3. Queen Nardi (55.5kg)

Trainer: Adam Durrant
Jockey: Lucy Fiore
Barrier: 3

Has taken the alternate pathway 90% of her preparation winning three races in Geraldton (maiden, C2 & 58+) beating the older horses on each occasion before being tested in the 1000 Guineas when finishing 4L adrift of Own The Queen, Miss Skyhigh, Starating and Lead By Example. She did beat home Oaks rivals She’s Perfection and Guess Who’s Back that day but it’s hard to see her turning the tables on the other three. She’ll park midfield, she’ll do no work and Lucy Fiore is a well regarded staying hoop, but she’ll need everything to go her way at this level to be in the finish.

4. Miss Skyhigh (55.5kg)

Trainer: Grant & Alana Williams
Jockey: William Pike
Barrier: 2

Is the X-Factor of the 2024 WA Oaks. She has the two biggest changes that a trainer can make: blinkers on and William Pike on. She was the eye-catching run in the Ascot 1000 Guineas charging home into second placing behind Own The Queen and off the strength of that performance and the expectation that she would only improve out in trip punters backed her into favourite in the Natasha starting $2.20 (Own The Queen $2.40). She ended up three back the fence in an ugly sit and sprint where the first 1600m was run 17L slower than average and by the time she got clear the race was all over in a complete forgive. There will be plenty who follow up off her Ascot 1000 Guineas performance.

5. Kinellin’s Legacy (55.5kg)

Trainer: Luke Fernie
Jockey: Chris Parnham
Barrier: 6

Is bred to stay. She’s by Melbourne Cup winning sire Fiorente and she’s out of a Zabeel mare who won once single race – a 2100m maiden at Gawler in 2012. If there’s any filly who should be able to run out 3200m, let alone the 2400m of the WA Oaks it’s Kinellin’s Legacy. She ran third behind Own The Queen and Starating in the Natasha and simply didn’t have the same acceleration as them when they made runs from the 600, however, in the final 200 she looked to be coming again on the line. She’ll stay all day and if (somehow?) the speed goes on she’ll be grinding away in the concluding stages. She would have loved it if there was a pace-maker.

6. Warralea Lass (55.5kg)

Trainer: Steve Wolfe
Jockey: Shaun McGruddy
Barrier: 1

Was handy enough last start in a 3 year old 0MWLY behind Bondi’s Future and Another Strike (both race in the 60+ Graduation over 1800m at Ascot on Saturday in Race 5) and beat home Queen Nardi by just on 1L in the process, however, they’re both stepping up 800m in distance and both are likely to be riding for luck and trying to pinch Black Type by running into the minor money. She’s still a maiden and she’ll need Shaun McGruddy to pull a rabbit out of the hat to win this. One of many roughies in the race.

7. Guess Who’s Back (55.5kg)

Trainer: Campbell McCallum
Jockey: Steven Parnham
Barrier: 7

Has progressed through the fillies’ staying series and has gone around at 100-1 beaten 5.3L in the Ascot 1000 Guineas and 60-1 beaten 6.6L in the Natasha Stakes. She’s drawn awkwardly in barrier 7 of 10 and from what we’ve seen on exposed form to date she’s really up against it yet again in the Oaks. Has shown enough to pinch a staying maiden at Pinjarra or Northam or Bunbury over the coming months but she’ll jump north of 100-1 in this.

8. Super Queen (55.5kg) 

Trainer: Mack Hall
Jockey: Keshaw Dhurun
Barrier: 10

Mack Hall and connections purchased this Super One filly in the July 2023 Inglis Online Sale for $5000 as a 2 year old. Her dam Queen Bey won five races, two of which were over 2200m and she did contest a Perth Cup at the peak of her powers so you can understand why they’ve had a throw at the stumps but you’d think it’s going to be overthrows. She ran second in a Geraldton maiden two starts back and then was plugging away in a fast run 2000m maiden at Pinjarra last start, albeit 8L behind Rocking Society. If Rocking Society was to come out and run a cheeky race in the Melvista Stakes it would get the lads excited.

9. She’s Perfection (55.5kg)

Trainer: Daniel Morton
Jockey: Steven Parnham
Barrier: 4

Showed something late in the Ascot 1000 Guineas when ridden cold from a middle alley and then was forced into the role of leader in the Natasha Stakes when afforded every mortal hope by Stevie Parnham. Comparing the 2024 Natasha Stakes to previous years they’ve gone ~16L slower overall so when you consider that she’s lead and been unable to shake them off at the 600 it’s hard to see her turning the tables and bobbing up in the Oaks. They may elect to go back to riding her conservatively because her 1000 Guineas run looked better than her Natasha run.

10. Flash Of Dallas (55.5kg)

Trainer: Grant & Alana Williams
Jockey: Clint Johnston-Porter
Barrier: 5

Looks the best of the ‘roughies’ as a lightly raced filly at only start number three. She was doing her best work late on debut from a mile off them at 1400m at Pinjarra and then again was attacking the line over 1600m in a maiden at Belmont Park, to the point where she ended up going for the same run at the same time as subsequent winner Knockoneback. They both copped a mutually detrimental hip and shoulder which looked like it took away all the momentum she was building. Gives the impression that she’ll stay and that she chases hard.


She’s won the Ascot 1000 Guineas at 1800m, she’s won the Natasha Stakes at 2200m and she’s now meeting her three main rivals on paper (Starating, Miss Skyhigh and Kinellin’s Legacy) 2kg better at the weights for beating them comprehensively in the Natasha. She’s got genuine upside and no doubt Troy Turner will ride her with extreme patience and confidence from the rear of the field. Expecting her to swoop over them to Group 3 Victory in the WA Oaks of 2024.

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