Can Lightning Strike Twice?

Waikato is hoping lightning can strike twice in the Gr 1 AJC Oaks at Randwick on Saturday.

The O’Reilly filly Dating will be out to emulate the Chittick family’s high-class performer Daffodil, who won the Randwick feature two years ago.

There are a striking number of similarities between the two – not the least of these being that they have been both bred and raced by the stud.

Daffodil (No Excuse Needed) is now an elite member of the Matamata farm’s broodmare band after a career that also featured top-flight Gr.1 victories in the New Zealand 1000 Guineas and the Windsor Park Plate.

Prior to successfully taking on the best Australian fillies, the Kevin Gray-trained Daffodil finished an unlucky fourth in the New Zealand Oaks where her gate had been slow to open. Dating also filled a similar placing in Trentham’s Gr 1 feature after a chequered run in the straight, when looking for clear galloping room.

Yet another parallel can be drawn with the booking of Hugh Bowman to partner Dating, who is prepared by Graeme and Debbie Rogerson. The leading Sydney jockey donned the familiar stylised WS silks when successful aboard Daffodil.

The Waikato Stud-bred and raced Savabeel filly Do Ra Mi also joins Dating in the Oaks equation. Trained by Peter Moody, Do Ra Mi won the Gr.2 AV Kewney Stakes two starts back and will be ridden by Luke Nolen on Saturday. Do Ra Mi was fifth in the Gr 1 Storm Queen Stakes at last start, and is currently at $A17 in Australia while Dating is considered $A26 chance.

The ruling $A3 favourite is the Vern and Margaret Trillo-bred dual Gr.1 winning O’Reilly filly Shamrocker, who took out the Gr.1 Australian Derby for trainer Danny O’Brien just last weekend.
The same trainer also saddles the Waikato Stud-bred Gr.1 VRC Oaks placegetter Placement, who is the second daughter of Savabeel to feature in the Oaks field.

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