IN Racing
Scarlet Oak prevails in Roses
“He said she is the real deal but needs a bit of furnishing. The best is yet to come."
NZ Racing Desk | May 26, 2024
James McDonald drives Scarlet Oak (white cap) home to win the Gr.2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben. Photo: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography

Recent Kiwi acquisition Scarlet Oak is repaying her new connections in spades with a hard-fought victory in the Gr.2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben coming at just her fourth raceday start.

Scarlet Oak was an impressive Matamata winner for Ken and Bev Kelso in March before prominent Australian owner Ozzie Kheir won the bidding war to secure the prized filly privately.

The daughter of Kermedec subsequently joined champion trainer Chris Waller and made an immediate impression, finishing runner-up to stablemate Konasana in the Gr.3 James H B Carr Stakes (1400m) at her local debut before romping to victory at Newcastle last start.

Sent out the $3.60 favourite in The Roses, Scarlet Oak enjoyed a perfect run under James McDonald, sitting fifth behind a solid tempo. The medium-sized filly was momentarily held up rounding the home turn but showed her class when presented centre-track to defeat stablemate Mare Of Mt Buller and Miss Joelene

“That’s the beauty of Australian racing. You’ve got it 52 weeks of the year and you can take advantage of it with a late developer and a rising star,” Waller said.

“I was eyeing her off on the TV watching her win in New Zealand back in March. Ozzie Kheir purchased her out of New Zealand from Ken Kelso who is a trainer I respect and I spoke to him.

“He said she is the real deal but needs a bit of furnishing. The best is yet to come.

“She is taking it all within her stride and that is the only reason she is still up here because she does need time. She’s eating everything and enjoying it. No signs of stress and we’ll push on in two weeks’ time for the Oaks.”

Winning jockey James McDonald said Scarlet Oak will have to rely on her class in the Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.

“It was a little bit hairy at the top of the straight. I was squeezed for room,” McDonald said.

“She’s got extremely good acceleration and I genuinely believe that if she got a dry track then she’s going to excel.

“I think she’ll come back faster next prep. She feels like a miler to me but she is extremely talented and her talent is really going to have to shine through in two weeks.”

Scarlet Oak is out of the four win Commands mare Tactless, a half-sister to Group One winner Complacent.

The filly was raced in New Zealand by the Smithies family’s Monovale Holdings before her sale to Australian connections. 

Scarlet Oak Monovale Holdings Gr.2 The Roses Ozzie Kheir Chris Waller Ken and Bev Kelso James McDonald Gr.1 Queensland Oaks Kermadec