SA owned Encipher to star in Vic Oaks
HIGH class filly Encipher will have to buck history to emerge triumphant in the Victoria Oaks.
Part of a phenomenal card, the Blue Riband is set to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night, with Encipher the $2 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds.
The Emma Stewart-trained youngster earned a berth in the Group One by finishing second in a heat last weekend in what was her second run from a spell.
Encipher scored first-up from a four-month break a fortnight earlier.
Stating the three-year-old has benefitted from the outing, Stewart is positive Encipher is ready to add the classic to the South Australia Oaks she captured in May.
Encipher is one of five members of the all-powerful Stewart stable in the $150,000 major!
“Her run in the heat has done her the world of good,” Stewart said. “It’s lifted her fitness and her work this week has been spot on.
“The draw gives us options and we’ll be exploring every one of them before the night.
“She is going to be very hard to beat.”
Success in the time-honoured event will see Encipher break an almost five-decade drought for South Australian-bred fillies.
As it stands, only two South Australians grace the honour roll since the feature’s inception in 1952.
Bred by Enoch Murdoch, Kiwi Para was the ground breaker in 1953, followed by the Bob Bansemer-bred Radiant Destiny in 1975.
Although trained locally, Encipher was bred and is owned by ‘Croweater’ Tyson Linke.
“It’s very exciting and nerve-racking having her in the Oaks let alone being the favourite,” Linke said. “It’s not going to be easy for her.
“I’m very happy with the draw, but then you look inside her and see a bit of speed there.
“The South Australian history doesn’t give her much hope, but it’s a good thing she can’t read!”
With his own team of horses requiring attention, along with work commitments, Linke is yet to decide if he will make the trip across the border to watch Encipher in person.
“We’ve got our horses here including some mares which are due to foal this week,” Linke said. “I’ve also got work on Friday and then there is the difficulty with flights being cancelled and postponed as well.
“Last week we were on the way to race in Port Pirie and had to listen to her race in the heat on the radio!
“If I do go it will be a quick dash over on Saturday and home again Sunday morning.”