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Filly takes her chances to earn Oaks berth

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Terra Sancta has taken lower level opportunities in Queensland to force her way into classic contention.

The New Zealand-bred daughter of Pierro was sent to the carnival in the hope she could win her way into Saturday’s Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2200m), which she has duly done.

Terra Sancta struck first-up over a mile at Ipswich and on Sunday she was again successful in the hands of Jim Byrne over 1800m at the Sunshine Coast.

"We were on a short run-up, but Valachi Downs were keen to get her in the Oaks," trainer Tony Pike said.

"It wasn’t going to be straight forward, but it’s all worked out and she’s in. We know she’ll run the distance."

Pike said Byrne was keen to stick with Terra Sancta, bred and part-owned by Valachi principal Kevin Hickman.

"He wants to ride her. He was impressed with her first-up and yesterday the second horse was laying in on her and she still got the job done. He was happy with her and she was strong through the line."

Meanwhile, Terra Sancta’s stablemate Bostonian was scratched on Saturday, but all is well with the Jimmy Choux three-year-old.

"From gate 17 around Doomben it would have been a disaster and I didn’t want him to have a really tough run first-up," Pike said.

"I’ll nominate him for the Fred Best on Saturday and also the three-year-old race over 1200m at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday and then decide which one to run in.

"There’s plenty of options here for him and we might get through to the Sunshine Coast Guineas."

Sacred Master is the third member of the team in Queensland and he will also step out this weekend.

"He’ll kick off in the Lord Mayor’s Cup at weight-for-age over a mile at Doomben on Saturday," Pike said. "He’s really here to get some racing into him and have him fit and ready for Sydney in the spring." - NZ Racing Desk.

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