Australian Oaks On Radar For Cassadee

Gai Waterhouse trainer of Cassadee

Gai Waterhouse trainer of Cassadee

Australian Oaks ambitions for Cassadee will be put to the test when the filly steps up in distance against mares at Moonee Valley.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Cassadee ran over 1600m for the first time at Sandown last start, scoring a five-length win in a benchmark event against her own age.

Cassadee goes to 2040m in Monday's City Jeep Grand Cherokee Handicap with the plan to head back to Sydney so long as she performs to expectations.

"She is thriving and has come through that last-start win in good order," Bott said.

"We always thought she had plenty of potential. The key was just getting her up in trip.

"We couldn't find the right races and just kept her at the 1400 metres until we were able to step her up.

"We saw what she could do when she got out to the mile last start and hopefully she improves again being able to step up to the 2000 (metres).

"After that, all going to plan, we'd like to see her come up to Sydney and lock back into some of the three-year-old features."

The Group One Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 8 at Randwick is a target with with Bott pinpointing the Vinery Stud Stakes or Adrian Knox Stakes, both over 2000m, as lead-up options depending on Monday's performance.

The stable's other Moonee Valley runner is Belle Du Sud in the Jeep City Hawk Handicap (1600m) for fillies.

The winner of one of her six starts, Belle Du Sud was runner-up to subsequent Group Three Kembla Grange Classic winner Dawn Wall over 1800m at Rosehill last start and got a look around Moonee Valley on Friday in a gallop with Cassadee.

"She's a horse improving all the time," Bott said.

"She's dropping back from the 1800 metres which is probably not ideal and she's having her first run around the track.

"She did work there the other day so she's had a look around.

"She's one that we've pencilled in to hopefully head towards the Adelaide carnival if all goes to plan."

By Mathew Toogood

MELBOURNE, March 12 AAP