By Adam Hamilton
Brilliant Queensland filly Pelosi is making up for lost time.
Last year’s Australian 2YO Filly of the Year has been denied the chance to win a big race this season so far by an injury setback and COVID.
But trainer Anna Woodmansey is not one to reflect.
“I think things are meant to be,” she said. “After about 40 years training horses, I’ve now got the best one I’ll ever have and, in hindsight, the time out has allowed her to mature a lot.”
Pelosi won six of her eight runs at two, including the Australian Gold and NSW Breeders Challenges finals at Group 1 level.
She then kicked a fence and was sidelined for nine months, as much as a precaution as anything else.
As Woodmansey watched Kiwi fillies Dr Susan and Stylish Memphis dominate the Victoria and NSW Oaks, she kept thinking her time would come during winter in the Queensland Oaks.
The along came COVID and the Queensland Oaks was scrapped.
Thankfully Racing Queensland responded and boosted this Saturday night’s South-East Oaks to Group 2 level and a $50,660 purse.
Pelosi has looked terrific winning her past two runs, but has the outside draw (gate seven) to overcome in the 2138m feature.
“I’m not taking anything for granted, especially from that draw, but she’s come back really well and I know she’ll give her all,” Woodmansey said.
“I’m just pinching myself to have a filly this good.”
Pelosi is bred in the purple being out of three-time Group 1 winning filly For Dear Life, who was one of just three foals former brilliant filly Express Post had.
She’s a home-bred, coming from the great family stock of Woodmansey’s partner, Wayne Honan, whose family bred and raced a long line of stars.
“Wayne’s really liked this filly since the day she was born, but he’s never one to compare them. He won’t even tell me who he thinks is the best horse the family ever had, but he does say Pelosi has inherited the speed of her grandmother and he speaks so glowingly about the speed Express Post had.”
If Pelosi pleases Woodmansey this week, she could back-up against the boys in the South-East Derby the following week.
The other option is to tackle older mares in the Fleur De Lil on the same night.
“Let’s just get through this week first. I couldn’t be prouder of this filly, she’s unreal, and I’d love to win an Oaks with her,” Woodmansey said.
The Oaks headlines a stellar Albion Park card, but the Wondais Mate Open Pace (1660m) is a mighty support race.
That will see buzz former Kiwi pacer Speech Is Silver dip into open-class racing for the first time and clash with Queensland’s best pacer, Colt Thirty One.
Speech Is Silver has won seven on end and 14 of her 18 lifetime starts, but faces a big ask from the back row (gate 10) in a sprint where Colt Thirty One has barrier five.
NSW raider Cruz (gate four) and classy locals Major Cam (two) and Northview Hustler (seven) add to the depth of a ripper race.