Oliver Confident in Khutulun Despite Wide Oaks Draw

May 28th, 2014

Having drawn the wide and awkward barrier 22 for this weekend’s feature race, trainer Luke Oliver has revealed exciting prospect Khutulun will be ridden forward in the 2014 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse.

Contesting just five competitive races since debuting in March, Oliver told Sky Racing he is not surprised the Soldier’s Tale filly has suffered a poor barrier allocation, but believes her recent work and form will go a long way in her Group 1 maiden on Saturday.

“It is probably no surprise that she has drawn a bad barrier because she has pretty much drawn the outside in each of her runs and the only time that she drew a good barrier was when they wanted to go to the outside at Caulfield,” Oliver said of Khutulun’s run for 3rd in the Simon Builders Handicap (2000m) on May 3rd.

“She has been used to that and we have been pushing forward to overcome it.

“We are pretty confident that she will run the trip strong and without thinking about it too much you would imagine that we would press forward.”

Having completed a strong piece of work at Doomben after arriving in Brisbane, Oliver said he is expecting the talented three-year-old to line up in peak condition this weekend.

“She has been a real iron horse and she always backs up very well,” Oliver added.

“She has never been outclassed in any of her runs and the times that she has been beaten she has probably been the unlucky runner in the race.

“The other day she got held up at the corner and she ended up running the second quickest last 200 for the entire meeting at Caulfield and that is a pretty good sign that she runs the trip out strongly.

“She goes up there in really good form.”

Debuting with an impressive turn of foot to claiming the visitmacedonranges.com Maiden (1212m) on March 23rd, Khutulun has continued to build in class and form and was unlucky to finish second to Sonntag in the ALH Group Handicap (2000m) last time out on May 17th.

Confirmed to be partnered by jockey Ben Melham for just the second time, Khutulun is currently offered at even $10 odds for success in the 2014 Queensland Oaks.

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