Montefilia drawn to stay the distance in Oaks

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Trainer David Payne is keeping faith in Montefilia’s staying credentials, despite the filly’s two defeats over classic distances.

And he is adamant she will bounce back in Saturday’s Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.

The dual Group One winner finished third as an odds-on favourite in the VRC Oaks (2500m) last spring when she was ridden out of her comfort zone near the speed and overpowered late.

She was again well supported when fourth to Explosive Jack in last weekend’s Australian Derby over 2400 metres when Payne felt the tempo and an inside barrier worked against her and jockey Jason Collett.

“She had every chance but I just would have preferred she’d come down the middle (of the track),” Payne said.

“It wasn’t Jason’s fault, he couldn’t get out and they went a little too slow.

“When you get beaten two lengths, of course you stay. She didn’t get beaten 10 lengths. She definitely gets a trip.”

Prior to the Derby, Montefilia had shaped well in two preparatory runs, making good ground first-up when midfield to Forbidden Love over an unsuitable 1400m in the Surround Stakes and again when third in the Rosehill Guineas.

She has been given an easy week and Payne is happy to see her draw out in barrier eight of 10 on Saturday, but he admits he is wary of emerging Mark Newnham-trained filly Harmony Rose and Kiwi Amarelinha.

“I’d rather be drawn there to be honest. I don’t want to be drawn on the fence,” he said.

“She is a filly who likes to have a lot of space.

“I think she’ll run very well but there are new fillies on the scene that weren’t around before. Mark’s filly looks very good and the New Zealand filly.”

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