Well Connected, best for Indian Oaks

Making a perfect start to her career, Well Connected appeals the best for the Indian Oaks, a Grade I event on the 12th day of the Mumbai Meeting to be held at the Mahalaxmi Race Course, here on Saturday.

To be run over the Derby distance (2400m), this high-profile race has attracted 11 contenders and Well Connected, who is making her eighth apperance at the starting gates, should catch the judge's eye.

Well Connected, trained by astute trainer S Padmanabhan, may well redeem her reputation after a slightly downward trend in her career graph in recent times.

Picking up four races in her first four starts that included the Kingfisher Ultra Bangalore Derby (Gr1) and both the Bangalore and Deccan Fillies Championships, should make a comeback on top of the others. However, she faltered thereafter but was never finished too far away from the top finishers.

The Indian Oaks (Gr1) gives the filly a grand chance of bouncing back as she has the necessary experience and a run on the Mumbai track would add to her advantage.

She finished fourth in the Guineas behind Gift of Grace and Juliette, both in the fray for the Oaks as well, but with a lot more ground to cover this time, Gift of Grace, trained by Parvathi Byramji, tasted first success in the Indian Classics last month while holding on to win the Style Cracker Indian 1000 Guineas (Gr1) on her Mumbai debut. She kept out both Juliette and Well Connected at bay over the mile, but the extended distance will test her to the core.

Juliette and Kate, the latter a new kid on the block, can turn on the heat particularly Kate as she comes off with an impressive win at Hyderabad.

It is a huge ask for the rookie, however, she has shown pleasing gait in the manner she notched up her debut victory.

The race does wear an open look, however, Well Connected, with her experience and a couple of Classics conquests looks the one to beat.