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Great Build Up To 2009 Queensland Oaks

John Wheeler’s assertion Awesome Planet was lucky to win the Doomben Roses has rival trainer Graeme Rogerson chuckling ahead of the Queensland Oaks.

Wheeler, who has Juice in the Group One feature at Eagle Farm, believes Roses runner-up Ekstreme is the one to beat on Saturday.

But Rogerson is happy with his filly and happy to take whatever luck comes his way.

“Lucky? I hope I’m lucky again,” Rogerson said.

“She can only improve and I don’t doubt she can run the distance and win.”

Rogerson operates large stables on both sides of the Tasman while Wheeler’s major base is in New Zealand.

Wheeler has a boutique stable at Mornington in Victoria consisting mainly of jumpers including the talented Zagata.

Bantering about the Oaks aside, it was all brotherly love when Zagata won the Great Southern Steeple at Mornington on Sunday.

Rogerson shares in the ownership of Zagata with Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan.

New Zealand fillies will play a big part in the Oaks with Awesome Planet, Ekstreme and Juice all boasting form at home around AJC Australian Oaks winner Daffodil.

Ekstreme is currently the $5.50 equal favourite alongside noted wet tracker Purple who finished seventh in the AJC Oaks and third in the Doomben Roses.

Nothin’ Leica Cat ($6), fourth in the AJC Oaks, is just ahead of runner-up Think Money while Awesome Planet is an $8.50 chance.

The Mike Moroney-trained Prix Du Sang is another with New Zealand form around Daffodil and she is at $13.

The last filly to claim the Doomben Roses-Queensland Oaks double was New Zealander Ethereal in 2001.

The withdrawal of one of the early favourites Miss Darcey has opened the door for the Kris Lees-trained Lacada Siren to gain a start.

The filly ran second to Rogerson’s Queensland Derby contender Bid Spotter at Randwick on Saturday.

The Alan Bailey-trained Saint Minerva has had heavy support but is likely to miss out with just $18,000 prizemoney while Lacada Siren has over $37,000.

Lees won the 2005 Queensland Oaks with Vitesse Dane who went on to run third in the Queensland Derby.

Article by Caryl Williamson at aapracing

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