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Tiamo Grace stakes a claim for VRC Oaks

Trainer Darren Weir has missed the Group Two win of Tiamo Grace at Flemington because of heavy traffic but the filly has had no such problems in the Wakeful Stakes.

The $5 second favourite for Saturday’s 2000m Oaks lead-up, Tiamo Grace powered to the line with clear running tio finish 1-1/4 lengths in front of top pick Sebring Dream ($4.40) with Missrock ($6) another 1-1/2 lengths third.

Stable representative Jeremy Rogers said Weir was near but far, but would undoubtedly be pleased.

“Darren is stuck in traffic,” Rogers said.

“This filly is progressive and is improving. We took her to Murtoa for her last start and then she stepped up here.

“That’s a Darren Weir special.”

Tiamo Grace was immediately cut from $7 to $4.40 second favourite for Thursday’s Oaks (2500m) with Yankee Rose holding sway at $1.90.

But Rogers said she was no certainty to back up in the Classic.

“She’s not the best eater so Darren will look at her over the next couple of days and decide whether to push on or have a break and get ready for the autumn,” he said.

“He will probably make that decision on Monday.

Tiamo Grace’s jockey Damian Lane has no doubt that’s where she should head if she is fit and well.

“I only let her down for 50 metres,” Lane said.

“She’ll have no problems running the trip in the Oaks.”

Michelle Payne’s hopes to ride and train a stakes winner are on hold with Queen Of Zealand beating just one runner home after travelling too keenly.

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