VRC Oaks 2023 ‘tweener for Harlow Mist

A last start winner of the Kennedy Oaks Preview (1800m), Harlow Mist will drop back in trip and grade to maintain fitness ahead of a potential Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) tilt.

The three-year-old filly gave John Sargent his second consecutive win in the Oaks Preview after So Dazzling won the race last year, with that filly not making it to the Group 1 after pulling up lame in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m).

Sargent is going to follow a similar path with the unbeaten Harlow Mist, likely to again target the Wakeful Stakes on Derby Day after contesting Wednesday’s 1550m benchmark 72.

Often renowned for training staying fillies, Sargent won the 2013 VRC Oaks with Kirramosa who ran second in the corresponding midweek race on October 19 prior to winning the Wakeful/Oaks double.

“She probably has as much class as So Dazzling but not as much brilliance as Kirramosa,” Sargent said.

Harlow Mist will carry top weight of 59kg with Reece Jones regaining the ride after winning on the Contributor filly in her first two career runs and Sargent is more hopeful than expectant given the scenario.

“She’s got a fair bit of weight but she’s drawn well and should get a soft run but whatever she does will do her good for the Wakeful,” Sargent told Racing NSW.

“I’m not worried if she doesn’t win, as long as she runs a good race and finishes off. I’ve kept her fresh for this but she’s naturally fit and clean winded.”

The early favourite in the race is Joseph Pride trained City Of Lights, a half-sister to champion mare Winx by Deep Impact out of Vegas Showgirl, who sadly passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 20.

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