Miami Bound and Vegas Jewel look set for a rematch in the Group One VRC Oaks after fighting out the finish of the Wakeful Stakes at Flemington.
The Danny O’Brien-trained Miami Bound ($8) edged out the Mark Kavanagh-trained Vegas Jewel ($3.70) by a neck in Saturday’s Group Two Wakeful (2000m) for three-year-old fillies and the pair now share favouritism at $3.50 for Thursday’s Oaks (2500m).
They gapped their rivals in the Wakeful on a soft track, with Palumbo ($26) six lengths away in third while $2.90 favourite Flit was fourth.
The VRC Oaks has been a long-range target for O’Brien with Miami Bound who will try to emulate her dam Arapaho Miss who won the VRC Oaks in 2007.
“We’ve always known once this filly got out over ground she was going to be hard to beat in anything we put her in,” O’Brien said.
“We’ve been pretty open about the preparation all spring that we were only having her peaking for one week and that was this week.
“We’ve got the first bit of it out of the way and it’s usually a pretty good guide to Thursday.
“She’ll be better again when she gets out to 2500 metres.
“Hopefully we can just wrap her up in cotton wool and bring her back on Thursday.”