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Oaklands Stud dominate Capricornia Yearling Sale

By Tony McMahon

The Stewart family’s Oaklands Stud in Toowoomba looks set to assert its dominance at both Saturday’s Rockhampton feature Capricornia Yearling Sales races and at the sales on Sunday.

Oaklands will provide four runners in both the 1200-metre $143,000 CYS 2YO Classic and the $93,000 CYS 3 & 4YO Championship (1300m).

Visiting Sunshine Coast trainer Tom Button, another prominent role player in both features and huge supporter of Oaklands, will saddle-up six of their graduates from previous sales.

Oaklands will be represented in the 2YO race by Valley Rattler, Ashcroft and Lockdown Lady, all trained by Button as well as Shesaystnanks (Zoe Hohn).

The stud/trainer combination team up once again with Flying Crackerjack, Miss Lot One and The Silver Lady in the Championship, while Angela Stephens starts another of their graduates in All For Harry.

Over the last decade, Oaklands bred three CYS 2YO Classic winners in Stylish Criminal (2017), Wicked Ways (2018) and Miss Lot Won (2020) while 2012 winner Zerocity was sired by their stallion Ferocity.

“I remember 2017 well as we provided the trifecta in the Classic – Stylish Criminal, The Bank Manager and We’ll Beat It,” stud proprietor Neville Stewart said.

“Oaklands also has a strong record in the Championship race, we may just provide the double on Saturday.”

Button too has enjoyed success in the CYS races, winning the Classic with Miss Lot Won last year while Flying Crackerjack was runner-up to Marway in the 3 & 4YO Championship.

Later last year, Button’s Flying Crackerjack - which is part-owned by Neville Stewart - won the CYS 4 & 5YO Championship, a race formulated as a one-time only brought about by COVID-19 racing disruptions.

Flying Crackerjack - a son of former Oaklands Stud-based Wicked Style - has been a grand money-spinner for his connections, who are predominantly central Queenslanders winning $151,000 already.

On the strength of his recent strong metropolitan Brisbane form, Flying Crackerjack looks a standout in the Championship and should reap the winners’ purse of $51,200.

“He’s really a Saturday form horse for Brisbane now but this race was too good to overlook,” Button said.

“That’s why I buy yearlings in Rocky because of the lucrative prizemoney associated with the Capricornia sales races - it’s a brilliant concept.”

While Flying Crackerjack will carry 59.5kg with Ash Butler aboard under the handicap conditions of the race, stablemate Valley Rattler is advantageously placed under the set weight of 57kg in the 2YO Classic.

The Denman youngster is the only metropolitan winner in the field, a feat achieved over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm on March 10.

Button was forgiving of Valley Rattler when he missed a place again at Eagle Farm over 1400 metres at his subsequent start on March 20.

“The run wasn’t all that bad and he will be far better suited by the 1200 metres of the Classic,” Button said.

Brisbane jockey Ryan Wiggins rides Valley Rattler, while he has also been engaged for the Toby and Trent Edmonds-trained Loving Miss for which a tip is doing the rounds in the Championship.

Stewart’s Oakland Stud will offer nine yearlings at the Rockhampton Showground on Sunday, including four by acclaimed internationally established Power, who is producing Stakes winners worldwide.

Basil Nolan’s Raheen Stud, which produced CYS 2YO Classic winners Kai Chow (2003), Kia Cibo (2004) and Deceiving (2006) has its best ever draft of yearlings assembled in Rockhampton.

Raheen will offer 14 yearlings, including seven by first season sire Heroic Valour, whose progeny sold sensationally at the Gold Coast in March.

“I’m proud to be offering this draft, I believe they are exceptional types of yearlings,” Nolan said.

Sunday’s Sale could be the first since its inception over three decades ago that breaks the magical million-dollar mark in sales receipts.