Oaks favouritism for Kahlua Flybye and Stylish Memphis' last race

By Adam Hamilton

Steve Telfer can’t wait to get to Sydney on Saturday night and his confidence of winning the NSW Oaks at Menangle has not diminished despite a wide draw for Kahlua Flybye.

Telfer, speaking from the yearling sales in Christchurch, believes Kahlua Flybye is classy and versatile enough to overcome barrier 10. She’ll start from eight if the emergencies come out.

“I’m looking forward to it, especially being at the track, too,” he said.

“She showed last week how fast she is, but she can do a bit of work, too. I think she’d go close to leading if Tim (Williams) wanted to, but the great thing with her is that he’s got options.

“And, as I said before the heats, the 2400m will really suit her. She’ll see it right out, while I didn’t see too many others in the heats who looked to hit the line really strongly at the end of the 2400m last week.”

Telfer also thinks there is more improvement to come from Kahlua Flybye’s easy heat win.

“It was only her second run back. It’s been great to get through with two pretty cheap runs so far. I’m sure she’ll be better again this week,” he said.

Kahlua Flybye is $2.50 favourite despite the wide draw ahead of Peaceful (gate four, $3.10) and Sky Blu (two, $3.70). She beat both in the heat last week.

The other heat winner, Victoria’s Soho Seraphine, drew the outside (12) and is a $10 shot.

Kahlua Flybye is one of four runners for Team Telfer/Hayden Cullen  at Menangle on Saturday night.

Open-class pair B D Joe and Alta Wiseguy are in different Miracle Mile qualifiers as they chase a start in the great sprint.

Only the first two placegetters from each qualifier are guaranteed Miracle Mile runs.

The barrier draws were cruel with B D Joe from gate 11 in race four and Alta Wiseguy drawing nine in race five.

Telfer explained B D Joe’s was kicking the sulky wheels badly at Newcastle on the bends, which explained his out-of-character rough gait and galloping last Friday night.

“He hit them hard,” he said. “Mandy (Telfer) said he’s fine. He’s a good horse, a serious horse, and even from the draw, he’ll get through if he’s good enough.”

Bondi Lockdown is a $2 shot from the pole in that qualifier, while B D Joe is $14.

Despite Alta Wiseguy being shorter at $12 in his qualifier, Telfer concedes he faces a huge battle from the wide draw.

“The draw really hurts him. He had no luck at Newcastle, but you have to accept that with him because he needs to be driven that way. I’m not sure he’ll get the right sort of run from his wide draw this week,” he said.

In contrast, Alta Meteor has drawn superbly from the pole in the first of three NSW Derby heats on Saturday night.

He is on the quick back-up from a sixth to Merlin at Cambridge last Friday night, but has settled well since arriving in Sydney late Monday.

“I don’t think he was quite as sharp as he can be at Cambridge, but he pulled-up blowing a bit. Maybe he was a bit underdone,” Telfer said.

“I’m not sure if he’ll have the speed to lead from the pole this week, but he’ll get a good run and I think he will improve through the heats into the final.”

Stylish Memphis' Sydney swansong

Mighty Kiwi mare Stylish Memphis has drawn better than her three key rivals as she chases a fairy tale finish to her racing career at Menangle on Saturday night.

The daughter of super sire Bettors Delight drew gate seven, but that’s better than Amore Vita (nine), Braeview Kelly (11) and Tough Tilly (12) in the $200,000 Queen Elizabeth II Mile (formerly Ladyship Mile).

Stylish Memphis is in foal to buzz stallion Captaintreacherous and this will be her last race start.

It is also her biggest challenge as a six-year-old, against a hot field and having gone winless in 12 starts since winning the race last year.

“She’s been a wonderful mare to us and Jack (Trainor) and it would be a dream come true if she went out with a winning performance,” her NZ-based trainer Mark Jones said.

Stylish Memphis has raced 47 times for 15 wins, 14 seconds, five thirds and $734,070 in earnings.

Trainor, who will drive the mare on Saturday night, openly admits the odds are against her despite a relatively kind barrier draw.

“I’d say it’s clearly the best field she’s met and she’s probably that little bit below her absolute best form,” he said.

“She’s going well, but isn’t quite as sharp as she has been.

“But we all know you should never sell these top horses short. They’re so good because they can do the unexpected.

“I’d lean to Braeview Kelly as my best chance because she’s younger and still on the way up, but I’m sure Stylish Memphis will run a big race again.”

Cam Hart will drive former Kiwi mare Braeview Kelly, who has looked terrific winning both runs back from a spell.

Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin-trained stablemates Tough Tilly and Amore Vita add plenty to a super-strong race.

Tough Tilly was arrogant sitting parked and winning easily in a 1min51.1sec mile at Menangle last Saturday night.

The Kiwi-owned Amore Vita hasn’t raced since a tough win in the Ladyship Cup at Melton on February 4.

Chris Alford will partner Amore Vita with Mark Pitt on Tough Tilly again after driving and winning on her for the first time last Saturday night.

 

 

 

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