James Springs Possible Oaks Contender

New Zealand trainer Roger James gained some compensation for Silent Achiever’s disappointing Australian Derby effort when he unearthed a possible Australian Oaks contender in Full Of Spirit, who scored a comprehensive win in the Gr. 3 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick today.

The filly was originally earmarked for a race in the South Island on Saturday until James talked the owners into coming to Sydney instead for the traditional Oaks lead-up over 2000 metres at Randwick.

If they decide next week's Oaks is where the filly should go, she will have to be supplemented at a cost of A$15,400 as she isn't among the nominations.

"She only arrived at 11pm on Wednesday," James said. "It was her first run at further than a mile and she did it well. She was on her way to the South Island but I talked them into coming over here.”

Full Of Spirit's three-length victory at Awapuni two weeks ago prompted James to consider the Adrian Knox and also influenced bookmakers and punters with the filly sent out the $2.70 favourite.

She travelled sweetly midfield and strode to the lead in the straight to put a length on Plumm, with Secret Liaison a head away third. Her jockey James McDonald has no doubt she can be a force in the Oaks if that's her destination.

"She's a beautiful filly and she's going to be hard to beat in the Oaks," he said. "Over 2400 metres I would ride her more conservatively.”

- The Informant

Posted: Sat 14 Apr 2012