BIG SHOES TO FILL

Wednesday 27, 2020 2:00 PM By Best Bets

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. But we might be able to throw the history book out the window when it comes to Saturday’s Queensland Oaks.”

That was the slightly pompous opening to this column on May 30, 2015 – five years ago to the day.

I’m pleased to say my point was that while nine of the previous 10 Queensland Oaks winners had come off a good run in the Doomben Roses, that was unlikely to be the case in 2015.

The Oaks favourite was coming out of the Sunshine Coast Guineas and that favourite was probably going to win.

The filly’s name was Winx.

Back on May 30, 2015, the Brisbane meeting had been transferred to Doomben after an upheaval to the Queensland racing calendar. And there was a question mark over the track at Eagle Farm.

So not much has changed.

Whether any of Saturday’s Doomben winners will follow up with another 31 consecutive wins remains to be seen. But it seems a longshot.

With no Queensland Oaks this Saturday – or at any other time in 2020 – the likeliest candidates for future laurels are in less exalted three-year-old events: the listed Pam O’Neill Stakes for fillies over 1600 metres and the Group 3 Fred Best Classic over 1350 metres.

Five years ago Winx’s winning streak had just begun. Her last-start Sunshine Coast Guineas win was the first of 33 straight.

Five three-year-olds at Doomben this Saturday are further advanced by one. Shuhood and Vanna Girl in the Pam O’Neill as well as Dawn Passage, Grand Piano and Hightail in the Fred Best are chasing a hat-trick.

None is trained by Chris Waller, but Waller’s presence will be felt at Doomben. Of 27 original entries in the feature Chairman’s Handicap, Waller had 10.