Glenn Rounds knows what it takes to win the South Australian Oaks, teaming with his late partner Judy Hayley to claim back-to-back Oaks victories courtesy of Melbourne Cup heroine Classic Capri (pictured) and El Paso in 2000 and 2001 respectively.
Rounds will travel to Angle Park for Thursday night’s heats of the Group 3 female feature with high hopes for rising star Cavalcade and her litter sister Bel Air Mist.
Cavalcade boasts the impressive record of nine wins from 19 starts and she heads to Adelaide in excellent form, winning three of her last five at The Meadows, clocking 29.88sec twice, and a slick 29.76sec victory at Angle Park in preparation for her Oaks tilt, while Bel Air Mist has won three from 15.
Cavalcade shapes as the testing material in the third of three Oaks heats after drawing box one, while Bel Air Mist will exit box three in the opening heat.
“Cavalcade is the better of the two,” Rounds said.
“I always had the Oaks in mind for Cavalcade but Bel Air Mist is pretty smart too and she’s fit and ready to go so she might as well come over as well.
“I went overseas for three weeks and Anthony Azzopardi looked after Cavalcade for me while I was away. Anthony went over to Adelaide with Zambora Brockie so he took Cavalcade over to have a look at Angle Park before the Oaks and she went really well for her first look.
WATCH: Cavalcade jump from box three at Angle Park.
“Cavalcade and Bel Air Mist both want inside so I’m happy with their draws and with three heats they’ll get every chance to qualify. Cavalcade has been to Angle Park and she’s drawn the rails so I expect her to go well, while Bel Air Mist will either like the track or she won’t.”
Cavalcade and Bel Air Mist will form part of a strong Victorian contingent contesting Thursday’s Oaks heats, also including Kel Greenough’s classy ex-Tasmanian Wynburn Toozie, a last start Sandown winner, while Brett Bravo, Robert and Jeff Britton and Jeff Guy all have multiple runners.
Other notable Oaks contenders include WA’s National Sprint placegetter Times Square and local National Sprint finalist Fabregal.
While Glenn Rounds’ immediate focus is on the Oaks, he’s also setting his sights on a much bigger target later in the year, hoping that Cavalcade might be able to emulate 2001 Melbourne Cup winner Classic Capri.
“The Melbourne Cup is only two months away so we’ll steer towards it and see how our luck goes!”