THE talking point of the week has been the inevitable comparisons between Egg Tart and stablemate Winx. The one common denominator between the two is that they are the only two fillies to have ever won the Queensland Oaks at Doomben!
But to try and compare Egg Tart to Winx is unfair – we know it’s exceptionally rare for a horse to reach the level of performance Winx has over the past two years.
Egg Tart returned a 100 WPR (WFA Performance Rating) in the Oaks (compared to 103.5 for Winx, which is 2.3 lengths superior).
A 100 rating is comfortably below genuine G1 standard, but there are a number of indicators in Egg Tart’s performance that show she still has plenty more to offer in the future. It was a below average pace and she ran home with outstanding sectionals.
Winx has managed to improve some 7.5 lengths on what she did at Doomben two years ago to her world class mark of 115.5.
Egg Tart’s indicators for improvement potential are very similar to what Winx showed in the Oaks, so there is no doubt the daughter of Sebring has plenty more to give and we expect her to elevate to a clearly higher level next season. Potentially, she’s a WFA mare, which presents a terrific opportunity to tackle G1 handicaps in the Spring.
A number of others went ahead to new career peaks in the Oaks including the placegetters Pygmy and Oklahoma Girl at 98, but neither show the improvement potential of Egg Tart. Their competitive potential will become much more challenging when they turn four and step into a deeper talent pool against older horses.
Single Gaze ran up to her recent figures in Queensland with a WPR of 99.2 when winning the P.J. O’Shea Stakes, which was marred by the death of Cylinder Beach, who looked set to win when he went amiss.
Setting that aside, the run of the race was Rudy, who was the worst suited out the back in a walking race. He failed to gather momentum at a crucial stage and wasn’t helped when he was inconvenienced by the stricken Cylinder Beach. He doesn’t win often but is going as good as he ever has. He may back up in this week’s Brisbane Cup, but his consistent form over the carnival means he’s been burdened with the steadier of 58.5kg, against most of the field down on the limit.
The highest rating performance of the day was the much-maligned Dothraki, who returned 100.9.
He has a habit of looking the likely winner, only to fail to deliver the killer blow and he did that again on Saturday. But you can’t knock the merit of his performance in running second to Deploy (who went to a new career peak of 97). He gave 6kg to the winner and there were some quality speed measures in the race.
You get a better appreciation for the Deploy/Dothraki efforts when you compare them to boom mare Bonny O’Reilly, who also won over 1200m last Saturday.
Bonny O’Reilly won in significantly inferior time and slower sectionals. Many people are keen for her to make the Stradbroke field, thinking she’s a live chance, but it’s impossible to rate her winning effort on Saturday any higher than 95, which leaves her well short of the mark required to win the Stradbroke.
The decision by the handicapper to not give her a penalty in the Stradbroke is completely justified. She looks like being second emergency. If she fluked a run, she would need to take a big step forward in performance just to be competitive. That’s not impossible given she’s lightly raced and would be only 4th up, but very few horses make that leap. At this stage we view her as a “lower level” stakes class Mare, still best suited in those types of races against her own sex.