Trainer Mick Price is targeting Oceanex at feature autumn staying races for fillies in Sydney with added confidence after the talented three-year-old take another step up at Flemington.
Oceanex drifted from $3.80 to $6 but made it three wins from her past three starts when she finished strongly down the outside in Saturday’s Flemington Event Staff Handicap in her first test over 2000m.
Price admitted he had some reservations but having won stylishly again he now plans to give Oceanex a short break before targeting the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and Group One ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) in Sydney.
“I thought that was a massive performance,” Price said.
“It’s her first preparation and she was up in class, weight, distance and she had drawn a gate where she was going to have to give them a start.
“She produced a sustained run and I thought it was a fantastic.
“I had my little query today but she still defied all that and came through with flying colours.
“It just gives me a bit of confidence to go and chase some of the better fillies in Sydney.
“I’ll have to construct a little plan, timing-wise, to get her up there but I thought today was a massive tick for that filly.”
Apprentice Lachlan King’s 3kg claim took Oceanex’s weight down to 57kg and the filly was forced to sit three-wide back in the field from a deep draw but King did not panic.
King tracked Royal Performance ($3.90) into the home straight and then Oceanex finished over the top of that gelding to win by three-quarters of a length, with Necessitas ($7) 2-1/4-lengths away third.