Oaks on the radar for Waller filly

Scarlet Oak has stamped herself as a filly on the rise with a classy performance at Newcastle.

SCARLET OAK winning the Signarama Erina / Gosford 3&4yo Benchmark 72 Handicap at Newcastle in Australia.
SCARLET OAK winning the Signarama Erina / Gosford 3&4yo Benchmark 72 Handicap at Newcastle in Australia. Picture: Steve Hart

Former New Zealander Scarlet Oak has rocketed to the second line of Queensland Oaks betting following a facile victory at Newcastle.

Having just her second start in Australia and third overall, the filly made light work of her opponents in Saturday's Signarama Erina/Gosford Handicap (1600m) to all but confirm a trip north.

Partnered by champion apprentice Zac Lloyd, the Chris Waller-trained Scarlet Oak ($2.30 fav) zipped through along the inside and was eased down on the line to score by 2-1/2 lengths over Nana's Wish ($5) with Piggyback ($15) third.

"I'd say she has booked a trip up to Queensland," said Damien Fitton, representing the Waller stable.

"Leave it to Chris, but she is probably on an Oaks path, as we've thought all along.

"She is a quality filly, so it was a great win today."

Bookmakers responded quickly to the performance, tightening Scarlet Oak from $15 into a $6 equal second favourite for the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.

By Kermadec, the same sire as multiple Group 1 winner Montefilia , Scarlet Oak won her first start in New Zealand before finishing runner-up to barn mate Konasana in the James H B Carr Stakes (1400m) at her local debut.

Fitton said she presented as a fitter horse on Saturday and clearly enjoyed the heavy track conditions.

"She got through it last start where she probably just got tired the last fifty (metres) because she was first-up in Australia and her stablemate beat her, but the form has been good since," he said.

"It's good signs going forward with a bit of rain up in Queensland."

Scarlet Oak brought up an early double for Lloyd, who won the opening race at Newcastle aboard the James Cummings-trained Pisces.

Lloyd said that while Scarlet Oak was only lightly framed, she gave him the feel of an above-average horse.

"She is a level above these at the moment," Lloyd said.

Scarlet Oaks is likely to have her next start in The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 25 as a lead-up to the Queensland classic.