Jockey Jim Byrne’s decision to stick with New Zealand filly Terra Sancta has given trainer Tony Pike a chance to win a second Queensland Oaks at Doomben.
Pike won the Oaks in 2016 with Provocative and Terra Sancta has had a similar lead-up to Saturday’s race.
Terra Sancta has two-restricted class races at Ipswich over 1600m and at the Sunshine Coast over 1800m.
Provocative won at Ipswich in the lead-up to her Oaks triumph.
In her Ipswich win Provocative was ridden by Vinnie Coglan and Leith Innes was aboard when Provocative won the Oaks.
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But Pike was keen to get a local jockey with the Oaks switched from Eagle Farm to Doomben.
“Jim (Byrne) knows the filly now and no one rides Doomben better. He won two Group One races there last season,” Pike said.
“It is an advantage of have local knowledge.”
Terra Sancta will appreciate the step up to 2200m and Pike hopes the race is run at a genuine pace.
“She is a real staying type who can grind into the race,” he said.
New Zealand fillies have a good Oaks record, winning four of the past 10 editions.