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Wed 2 June 2021

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Mark Newnham is hopeful of ending a frustrating run of Oaks placings when Bargain tackles the Group 1 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Bargain drew perfectly in barrier four, boosting Newham’s hopes with the filly who is coming off a last start second to the Chris Waller-trained Only Words in the Group 2 The Roses at Doomben on May 22.

“I’ve had four placings in Oaks around the country and I’m due to win one,” NewNham said.

“She’s drawn well in barrier four which is perfect and it’ll give her plenty of options depending on how the race is run.”

Newnham’s Oaks frustration began with Greysful Glamour, who finished second in the VRC Oaks in 2018 while Scarlet Dream was second in the Australian Oaks the following year.

Quintessa finished third in the Australian Oaks at Randwick last year while Bargain was placed in this year’s Sydney feature.

Newham has trained four winners at the highest level and is searching for his maiden Group 1 win in Queensland with Bargain in the 2200-metre feature.

Newnham made a special trip to ride Bargain in her final Queensland Oaks gallop at Eagle Farm on Tuesday and is hoping it’ll be a lucky omen.

The Warwick Farm trainer rarely rides the filly in trackwork, and the last time he worked her was in her final gallop for the Australian Oaks at Randwick in April when she finished third to the Chris Waller-trained Hungry Heart.

“I don’t often ride her work and the last time was in her final gallop before the Australian Oaks in Sydney,” Newnham said.

“I was really happy with her final gallop yesterday and she hit the line strongly and her recovery was very good.”

Newnham has named the Edward Cummings-trained Duais as the main threat but has warned Bargain will be much better on the roomier Eagle Farm track.

“Duais beat her in the Adrian Knox and her run when second in the Australian Oaks was very good,” he said.

“We’ve run into Duais twice and she’s beaten us home both times but she hasn’t raced for seven weeks which is interesting.

“Eagle Farm will suit her a lot better than Doomben and racing on bigger tracks is her go.”

Bargain is a $4.50 favourite for the Queensland Oaks in latest TAB markets but Waller has six runners including Grace And Harmony and Charms Star who are equal $6 second favourites with Duais.

Charms Star will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, who will join Chris Munce as the most successful jockey in Queensland Oaks history if the filly wins.

Munce won the Queensland Oaks four times aboard Giovanna (2000), Zagalia (2003), Vouvray (2004) and Miss Keepsake (2010).

McEvoy has won three Queensland Oaks on Purple (2009), Egg Tart (2017) and Youngstar in 2018.