Own The Queen aims to continue autumn dominance for Erkelens

Trainer Justine Erkelens admits she’s experiencing a mix of nervousness and excitement, but it’s a position she’s been in before and knows only too well.

Justine Erkelens will be chasing the second Group 3 victory of her career when star filly Own The Queen looks set to continue her dominance in the WA Oaks (2400m).

Own The Queen has been one of the finds of Perth’s autumn carnival and her powerful turn of foot has been instrumental in her hot winning sequence.

After suffering the only loss of her early career when on debut last December, Own The Queen has won four straight races and is a warm favourite to make it a feature race hat trick.

Own The Queen underlined her potential with a dazzling victory in the Ascot 1000 Guineas (1800m), keeping Oaks rival Miss Skyhigh at bay by one length.

As impressive as she was in the Ascot 1000 Guineas, Own The Queen was even better stepping up over further ground in the Natasha Stakes (2200m) when circling the field from near last.

Erkelens doesn’t shy away from feeling pre-race nerves, but says she wouldn’t want to swap positions with any other trainer.

“They are there,” Erkelens said on Tabradio, referring to her nerves.

“But, if they’re not there, there is something wrong with you.

“She’s done really well and I couldn’t fault her.

“She’s still working well and loves to eat.

“She’s ticking all the boxes, so fingers crossed we have a good race on Saturday.

“She’s proven she can stay and she has that powerful turn of foot.”

Own The Queen, a $57,500 Perth Magic Millions purchase, confronts a field of nine rivals in the WA Oaks.

Currently a $2.10 favourite with Tab touch, the daughter of Awesome Rock has drawn barrier nine. Troy Turner retains the mount.

“We didn’t want something close to the fence,” Erkelens said.

“We can be on the outside and make our run when it counts.”

Own The Queen is a good chance of extending her campaign beyond the Oaks.

Erkelens hasn’t ruled out her going up against the boys in the WA Derby (2400m) on April 13.

“If she runs the trip out we’ll go to the Derby,” Erkelens said.

“We sort of have her aimed at these sort of races.

“She has shown us she has the ability and we’ve had the thought that she could stay.

“This has always been the plan.”

Erkelens hopes her WA Oaks experience doesn’t repeat or go down the same path as Friar Fox in 2018.

Friar Fox, a multiple stakes winner for Erkelens, ran seventh in the Oaks after starting a raging odds on favourite following her win in the Natasha Stakes two weeks before.

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