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Colette stakes G1 Oaks claims with Randwick Stakes success

Mike Hedge

A classic bid is on the agenda for Colette after the filly demolished her opposition to win Saturday’s G3 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick.

Colette’s success followed her progression through the restricted grades where she had won her previous two starts and has left her as the leading contender for next weekend’s G1 Australian Oaks.

With only seven days to recover from her career-best effort, Colette is not a confirmed Oaks runner, but trainer James Cumming is keen to run should she make a good recovery from her latest run.

"We've treated her with kid gloves with a long-range plan to target an Adrian Knox which can suit a filly on the way through like her," Cummings said.

"She might just set up nicely and be an interesting addition to the Oaks next week if we're very, very pleased with the way she is in the next seven days."

"The gap between her last couple of runs has been important and she has enjoyed that but now she's into the serious end. But she looks like she's got the constitution to handle it."

Colette responded to a patient and gentle ride from James McDonald, weaving through the pack at the 300m before producing a blistering turn of foot to run down second placegetter Toffee Tongue.

In the run to the line she was untroubled to score by 2.75 lengths.

While McDonald offered suitable admiration for Colette he took a slightly cautious approach to the Oaks.

“She's going to have to lift again, but she’s filly on an upward curve and she’s shown tremendous improvement at each of her past three runs,” he said.

On the same Randwick card, the Exceed And Excel colt Jerle, ran the best race of his short career to finish second in the G3 Kindergarten Stakes.