Our Angel Of Harlem’s bid to win next month’s WA Oaks took a big step forwards when the highly-rated filly won a confidence-building Oaks prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday.
The Mike Reed-trained three-year-old, driven by Shannon Suvaljko, recorded a hard-fought victory over Amelia’s Courage and Lady De La Renta, scoring by a neck in a tight finish.
The former New Zealander, sold in a big money deal, landed her first win since joining the Reed stable after placings at her opening two starts at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park.
Angel Of Harlem, a daughter of Mach Three, was placed in both the Harness Jewels and Australasian Breeders Crown as a two-year-old last season.
Suvaljko said Angel Of Harlem had improved with each run.
“She is working towards her fitness and Mike (Reed) is doing a great job with her,” Suvaljko said on Tabradio’s The Sports Daily.
“You can always pay high money for them, but it doesn’t mean they are going to run.
“She is working towards the WA Oaks and I’m sure her fitness will be right there for the final.
“I drive her each time and can see how her fitness is improving every time.
“She is probably a better filly when you can sit her up and use her speed.
“I think that is her lethal weapon for sure.”
Suvaljko is ultra-confident he can form another successful combination with the Reed stable when he partners Countess Grace at Pinjarra on Monday.
Suvaljko drove Countess Grace when she ran a sound fourth to Rollsoffthetongue on debut at Gloucester Park last week and liked what he saw.
“She was a super run first-up when she came from a long way back and I think she can win,” Suvaljko said.
“She is going to get the right run through the field and if she can continue to improve like her first run she will definitely be hard to beat.”
Countess Grace will start from the second row in race one.