Singapore-based hoop Craig Newitt will venture to Doomben on Saturday for just the one ride but has reason to believe he is not without a hope of causing a Queensland Oaks boilover.
Since December, Newitt has been plying his trade in Singapore where he has notched 22 winners alongside compatriots Michael Rodd and Corey Brown.
During that time, Newitt has made several return trips to Australia, the last of which was in April to ride the Mick Price-trained Lankan Rupee in the Group I TJ Smith Stakes (1200m). The race was somewhat of an anti-climax for Lankan Rupee fans as the gelding finished down the track, beaten 7-1/4 lengths.
When Newitt touches down in Brisbane later this week, he will be hoping Lankan Rupee’s stablemate Yulong Baby can provide a better result in the $500,000 Group I Queensland Oaks.
Newitt has taken confidence from the filly’s last start effort behind current Queensland Oaks second favourite Bohemian Lily in the Group II Doomben Roses (2020m) earlier this month.
Yulong Baby was off the bit chasing a long way from home before running on resolutely into fourth, beaten 5-1/2 lengths.
“I thought she ran really well the other day, she got back from an inside draw and it’s pretty hard to make ground around Doomben but she hit the line really well,” Newitt told Sky Racing Radio.
“The winner was obviously too good the other day and looks to be one of the chances again on the weekend but my filly will run the trip out no worries.
“She has drawn out and will get back in the second half of the field again so we will just have to rely on a bit of speed up front.”
With Bohemian Lily drawn out in barrier 20, a strong tempo up front appears a distinct possibility.
“There’s a fair bit of speed drawn out wide so hopefully they will roll forward,” Newitt said.
“We can only hope that seven or eight of them really kick up underneath her (Bohemian Lily) and make her work.”
Yulong Baby gets the blinkers for the first time on Saturday and is currently quoted at $51 with online bookmaker Sportsbet.
Newitt is due to return from his stint in Singapore on June 29.