Sydney trainer Matthew Smith is hedging his bets as he prepares Atonement for a tilt at the Queensland Oaks next month.
The lightly-raced daughter of Dundeel will have her lead-up run on Saturday with Smith entering the three-year-old for both the Group 2 Doomben Roses (2000m) and the 3YO Benchmark 72 Handicap (2000m) at Rosehill.
“I’ve entered her for both races to see how the draws play out,” Smith said.
“Looking at the nominations we could end up with full fields at both venues and I want to give her the best possible platform going into the Oaks.
“For a staying filly like this, an Oaks is probably going to be her grand final in life.
“The black-type is up there and that is the preference, but we’ll wait for the barriers draws tomorrow and make a decision from there.”
Matthew Smith has given Atonement the thumbs up ahead of Saturday. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Atonement is already stakes placed having finished third in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Eagle Farm back in December where she chased home The Elanora and Toscanini.
She goes into Saturday’s race off a last start success at Hawkesbury when defeating the older horses in an 1800m set weight plate event.
“She wasn’t beaten that far by the boys the last time she raced up there in the Grand Prix back in the summer,” Smith said.
“I think she’s a better horse this preparation. She’s going pretty good.
“She’s just a genuine stayer. The Oaks is the race where she’ll be best suited.
“She’s genuine and makes her own luck. You can’t ask for much more from a horse.”
TAB fixed odds rate Atonement a $21 chance for the Doomben Roses on Saturday in their nominations market while they have the filly at $26 for the Queensland Oaks.
Originally published asOaks filly heading on the right path
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