By Glenn Davis
Trainer Tony Sears is hopeful talented Toowoomba Guineas favourite Barefoot can stake a claim for the Group 1 Queensland Oaks at Clifford Park on Saturday.
Barefoot will be on a Queensland Oaks redemption mission for Sears when the Show A Heart filly steps up in distance to 1600 metres in the Toowoomba Guineas.
Sears has only had one Queensland Oaks runner, Sister Theresa, who ran fourth to the Gai Waterhouse-trained Zacheline in 1998.
Barefoot is jumping up in distance to 1600 metres after finishing sixth to Mishani Hustler at Eagle Farm on March 19.
“She was supposed to run in The Jewel but it was washed out and run a week later,” Sears said.
“This race fitted in better and I’m not worried she’s going up to 1600 metres.
“She’s won over 1800 metres and if she races well, she’ll progress to the Oaks in the winter.”
Sears paid $55,000 for Barefoot at the Magic Millions March sales at the Gold Coast in 2017.
“She deserves to be one of the favourites as she’s won almost $300,000 in prizemoney while the nearest to her has won about $83,000 (Rosendahl Red),” he said.
“Her form is good and she ran fourth in the Magic Millions Guineas in January.
“The long-term plan is the Queensland Oaks and this is just a stepping stone before her next run in two weeks at Eagle Farm.
“Then she’ll go to the Gold Coast Bracelet and if she shows she’ll stay she’ll go to The Roses and then the Oaks.”
The $500,000 Queensland Oaks (2200m) will be run at Eagle Farm on June 1.
Sears also will be chasing his second Weetwood Handicap victory with $19 chance Tycoon Ace.
Tycoon Ace has a win and five placings from his past seven starts including a last start third to Stratburbo at Eagle Farm on March 23.
“It’s a hard race and probably the hardest race I’ve seen in years,” Sears said.
“He’s an honest horse and ran second to Houtzen in the (Listed) Bribie Handicap.”
Sears won the Listed Weetwood Handicap with Choice Bro in 2016.
Racing Queensland webnews April 5