Geoff Goold’s form on the Kelly Doughty-trained Arki has put him in line to ride stablemate Benfica Princess in an Oaks campaign.
Goold has ridden comeback galloper Arki in four of his five straight wins and turned in another perfect performance to win the Open Hcp (2030m) at Doomben on Saturday.
He had only just weighed in on Arki when Doughty, a long-time supporter of the jockey, took him aside and told him to start putting his name forward to ride Benfica Princess in the Group One Queensland Oaks.
Leading jockey Jeff Lloyd rode Benfica Princess to three wins before the filly went for a spell in early December.
However, Lloyd may be required for the Toby Edmonds trained Ahndras for the Queensland Oaks.
Ahndras has won her past three starts for Lloyd and could also be headed to Sydney for the Australian Oaks.
Benfica Princess has been back in Doughty’s Gold Coast stable for three weeks and has blossomed during her rest.
“She has grown a good deal and is now a lovely filly. I told Geoff that Jeff would have to make a choice and he needs to put his hat in the ring for the Benfica Princess ride,” Doughty said.
Benfica Princess is likely to begin her campaign in a midweek race at the Sunshine Coast in early April to be followed by runs in the Princess Stakes (April 22), the Gold Coast Bracelet (May 6), the Doomben Roses (May 20) and the Oaks (June 3).
“It is the perfect natural progression,” Doughty said.