Typhoon Tiff Ready for the Oaks

Brilliant filly Typhoon Tiff has not raced for seven weeks, but ace trainer-reinsman Colin Brown is quick to warn punters not to disregard her as a major chance in the $150,000 Gannon’s WA Oaks at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Brown has revealed that her absence was caused by an illness, which she has now overcome.

“She’s ready for a strong performance and you can’t overlook her prospects,” he said. “Just have a look at her record.”

Typhoon Tiff, who boasts an impressive record of six wins and two placings from nine starts, is awkwardly drawn at barrier eight. “Unfortunately, the draw is no help and I’m not making any plans,” Brown said. “But the 2536m journey and the draws of other fancied runners makes the Oaks anybody’s race.”

Typhoon Tiff last appeared when she finished fifth behind Eloquent Mach and Major Trojan in a WA Derby prelude on March 15 when, from the No. 7 barrier, she raced three wide early and then in the breeze before she raced roughly in the final circuit, but still finished fifth in a field of 12.

At her previous start, three weeks earlier, she raced wide early and then in the breeze and won by a head from Dracarys, who finished strongly from sixth at the bell. Two weeks before that, Typhoon Tiff started from barrier five, took the lead after 270m and won the Dainty’s Daughter Classic by more than two lengths from Arma Indie, and at her previous outing she led and won by 7.9m from Dracarys over 1684m at Pinjarra.

It is, indeed, interesting to note that the only defeats suffered by Dracarys at her past seven starts has been at the hands of Typhoon Tiff.      

“In the Derby prelude, in which the winner rated 1.55.5, Typhoon Tiff paced roughly down the back when I pulled the earplugs out,” Brown said.

Soon after that, Typhoon Tiff was badly affected by a cold and Brown decided to treat the ailment and not to race the filly in preparation for the Oaks. “While I was treating her, I kept the workload up,” Brown said. “If I had raced her, it would have meant that, with the clearance times (for treatment) I would have had to give her X number of days off treatment before starting the treatment all over again.

“Last Saturday we scoped her and she came up crystal clear. So, she’s ready to rock’nroll. She’s done plenty of work and has been working against Eden Franco, and at her latest workout --- two one-mile heats --- she ran home in 27.6sec., swinging, and Franco Eden couldn’t get past her.            

“We’re looking forward to the Oaks, and after that there’s a $50,000 race and the $100,000 Westbred Classic. We’ve made a couple of slight gear changes for this week, without going to extremes. The changes include racing her without the ear plugs.”

Dracarys is sure to start a warm favourite on Friday night, despite drawing the inside of the back line. She is in dazzling form and is aiming to stretch her winning sequence to five and her career record to 12 wins from 17 starts.

Hall of Fame reinsman Gary Hall Jnr will handle the New Zealand-bred Dracarys for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice, who caused a major upset in the Oaks 12 months ago when he prepared and drove Our Major Mama to victory over Detroit Lily and Cott Beach. Our Major Mama, a rank outsider at $139.80, began out wide at barrier eight and stormed home from tenth at the bell.

Hall has driven the winner of the Oaks twice. He was successful behind Miss Holmes (trained by his father Gary Hall Snr) in 2004 and won in 2015 with the Prentice-trained 9/1 chance Major Reality, who beat her stablemate Quite A Delight (driven by Prentice) by a half-head. Prentice also trained and drove The Parade when she finished second to Libertybelle Midfrew in 2014.

In the 2013 Oaks Prentice drove 33/1 chance Bettor Dreams into second place behind Frith; he trained Southern Legacy when she finished second to Sensational Gabby in 2012 and in 2017 he trained Im Stylish, who was driven by Tom Buchanan into third place behind Maczaffair and Sarah Goody.

Dracarys completed her Oaks preparation in superb fashion when she outclassed the opposition in a prelude on Easter Thursday. She started from the outside of the back line and settled in sixth position before Hall sent her forward, three wide, after 600m to surge to the front 150m later. She was not extended in speeding over the final 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 28.5sec. and beat Soho Interceptor by two lengths, with a neck to the early leader Fake News.

Fake News, trained by Hall snr, goes into this week’s classic with sound credentials, seven wins and four placings from 18 starts. She will be driven by Micheal Ferguson from the outside of the back line. She finished strongly, three wide, from last at the bell to finish an excellent second to stablemate Balcatherine in a prelude last week.

Balcatherine (Stuart McDonald) will start from barrier six on Friday night and is capable of a bold showing.

Apart from Dracarys, Prentice will be represented in the classic by Has No Fear, a winner of six races who will be handled by Jocelyn Young from the outside barrier on the front line (No. 9), and Majorpride, a winner at three of her 17 starts. She will be driven by Michael Grantham from barrier two on the back line.

The Barry Howlett-trained My Prayer (Chris Lewis) and the David Thompson-prepared Mandy Joan (Dylan Egerton-Green) are racing keenly and will have admirers after drawing favourably, at barriers one and two, respectively.

Annie Belton’s promising filly La Roue De Lamour will be driven by Kim Prentice from the No. 3 barrier, and though she has managed only one win (at Bunbury four starts ago) she is on the upward path and is capable of a bold showing. She was most unlucky in a prelude last Friday night when she trailed the pacemaker Arma Indie before being shuffled back at the 500m mark when the leader began to tire badly. La Roue De Lamour recovered and flashed home to be an eye-catching fourth behind Balcatherine.