Oakleigh Plate option for 3YO filly Booker

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February 10, 2018 - 04:06 PM

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Mathew Ellerton is considering the Group One Oakleigh Plate for Booker after the filly made a successful return to the races in the Group Three Kevin Hayes Stakes at Caulfield.

Ellerton and training partner Simon Zahra were tossing up between Saturday's Group Two Rubiton Stakes (1100m) against older horses and the Kevin Hayes (1200m) for fillies for Booker's return.

With Dwayne Dunn aboard, last spring's Group Two Thousand Guineas Prelude winner Booker was able to control the race in front against a quality field of fillies before giving a good kick inside the final 300m.

Leather'n'lace ($18) let down strongly on the outside from back in the field to look a threat but Booker ($4.40) kept surging to win by 1-1/2 lengths with another length to See Me Exceed ($21) third.

Ellerton has the Oakleigh Plate with River Dove in 2003 and Miss Kournikova, who scored as a three-year-old filly in 2001.

And the co-trainer is looking at the 1100m handicap in two weeks as Booker's potential next start.

"She'll go to the Oakleigh Plate I reckon, but I'm not sure yet," Ellerton said.

"We'll just let the dust settle.

"I think today will clean her up nicely. She'll be much improved from the run."

Booker was stretched out to 1600m in the Group One Thousand Guineas in the spring and pulled up sore after that race when unplaced.

Ellerton believes Booker is best kept to sprinting.

"She's a pretty impressive sort of filly now. She looks like a big three-year-old colt," Ellerton said.