Raging favourite Tuscan Queen heads a field of 12 starters in the $250,000 Group 3 City Of Belmont-WA Oaks (2400m) at Ascot on Saturday.
The Fastnet Rock filly reignited her WA Oaks credentials with a dashing performance in last fortnight’s Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m).
With Peter Hall in the saddle, Tuscan Queen proved the superior stayer and bolted in to defeat her next rival Pambella by 2 ¼ lengths.
William Pike reclaims the prized mount after he led home stable mate Regal Power to a momentous win in the All Star Mile on the same day.
Tuscan Queen, a winner of the Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) in November, is all the rage with Tabtouch as the $1.55 favourite.
If Tuscan Queen lived up to her billing she will give leading owner-breeder Bob Peters a remarkable 11th win in the WA Oaks and sixth in succession.
Grant Williams has shared six of those wins with Peters and three in partnership with co-trainer and partner, Alana Williams.
Pike is out to claim his 5th WA Oaks and third in combination with Peters and the Williams team
The champion hoop took out his first WA Oaks with Westerly Breeze (2007) and Grand Journey (2008), trained by Shane Edwards and David Brideoake respectively.
Dreamaway (2011) and Delicacy (2015) came later for Peters and Williams.
Chris Parnham, who has led home Very Tempting (2017), Special Alert (2018) and Dark Choice (2019), can join Pike as a four time winner with Showaddywaddy.
Jordan Turner retains the ride on the Colin Webster-trained Glamour Packed. Turner’s father Troy won the WA Oaks twice previously with Pop Culture (2012) and Moreish (2013).
Other riders engaged in the WA Oaks to have won the race previously include Peter Hall (Unpretentious-1996) and Shaun McGruddy (Moodometer-2006).
Steven Parnham (Pambella), Clint Johnston-Porter (Naughty By Nature), Brad Parnham (My Fair Balentine), Alan Kennedy (Secret Pearl), Jarrad Noske (Samantha’s Twitch) and Jason Whiting (Safe To Makeup) are searching for their first WA Oaks success.
Noske’s father Jeff won the WA Oaks on Royal Drive (2005).
Of the trainers to have won the staying clash have been Neville Parnham (Superior Star-2003), Steve Wolfe (Moodometer-2006), Colin Webster (Queen Inca-1980 & Pop Culture-2012), Sharon Miller (Moreish-2013) and Trevor Andrews (Natasha-1991).
Jason Miller (Naughty By Nature), Dan O’Connor (My Fair Balentine), Robyn Lockwood (Cambist), Fred Kersley (Miss Dominican), Dan Morton (Showaddywaddy & Samantha’s Twitch will be first time winners if successful.
The WA Oaks was first run in 1953 and won by Copper Beach.