Adam Durrant is not prepared to write off Dreamtime Dancer in the Group 3 WA Oaks (2400m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Perth’s top trainer is sticking solid with his filly, despite her shock defeat in the Natasha Stakes (2200m) last-start
In a performance that Durrant described as ‘too bad to be true’, Dreamtime Dancer ran last behind Arcadia Dream.
It was completely out of character for the daughter of Danehill Dancer, who appeared to be enjoying a perfect preparation.
She loomed as an early Oaks fancy after posting dominant wins in the Challenge Stakes (1500m) and Ascot 1000 Guineas (1800m).
Durrant, who is searching for his first WA Oaks success, believes there were genuine reasons for Dreamtime Dancer’s defeat.
“It was a terrible run, but she is better than that,” Durrant said on Tabradio.
“We did every test possible on her and she has come back all clear.
“The only thing I can put it down to is possibly she chocked down.
“She raced like that and was very soft the last 600m.
“I’ve fitted the tongue tie and hopefully I have got it right.
“We will try and rider her a bit more conservatively.
“I thought she was progressing really well.
“Her work has been perfect all the way through and consistent.
“Hopefully we can forgive her for one bad run and she will bounce back.”
Durrant also gives a good push for stable mate, Press the Petal, who steps up to black-type company at her third career start.
The Danehill Express filly has yet to shed her maiden status, but showed enough at Bunbury to suggest the Oaks journey will not pose a threat.
She made up a stack of ground from last position to finish just under a length from Albany galloper, Gauged, when racing over 2200m.
“She has progressed well and has good pedigree on the dam side,” Durrant said.
“The distance will be no worries and it was a good test when she ran at Bunbury.
“She gave them a head start but really attacked the line quite well.
“If its run at a genuine tempo she is going to stay the trip out.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if she ran in the money.
“She is a nice enough staying type and has good stamina.”
The TAB has Arcadia Dream at the head of the market ($1.80) to take out the WA Oaks.
Dreamtime Dancer shares the second line of betting ($7.50) with Blackwood. Press The Petal is rated a $23 chance.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli