Breeders' Cup International Scouting Report: Oodnadatta

December 31st, 2020

The least experienced of Jessica Harrington’s Breeders’ Cup trio, Oodnadatta is also her unlikeliest winner compared to Cadillac (Juvenile Turf) and Cayenne Pepper (Filly & Mare Turf). Yet she’s also coming off her best effort so far, with a pedigree pointing to the future.

By dual classic winner Australia, Oodnadatta is a three-quarter sister to Pablo Escobarr (by Galileo) who scored his signature win in this summer’s Glorious (G3) as a 4-year-old. Their dam, the Dansili mare Bewitched, likewise developed into a multiple Group 3-winning sprinter at 3 and 4.

Oodnadatta won at first asking in a Leopardstown maiden, over several subsequent winners, with the help of a crafty front-running ride by Shane Foley. Her beaten foes included future Group 3 scorers Minaun and Divinely and most notably Group 1 star Shale, who turned the tables in both rematches.

Initially due to follow a path resembling Cayenne Pepper’s from last year, Oodnadatta was scratched from her Killarney assignment when the course deteriorated to yielding. So instead of a low-key second start, she advanced to a Group 3.

The Aug. 6 Silver Flash (G3) was back over the same track and 7-furlong distance as her maiden, but it didn’t go so well for her. Upset in the gate and last early, Oodnadatta found herself using the opposite tactics. She eventually improved position into fifth without being an eye-catcher, well behind the re-opposing Shale and Pretty Gorgeous.

Off at 22-1 in the Moyglare Stud (G1), Oodnadatta finished a much better third to the same pair. This time she secured better early position on Shale’s flank. Although she couldn’t stay with Shale, or advance like Pretty Gorgeous, she showed a good attitude to hold third.

The step up to a mile figures to agree with Oodnadatta, who’s run only on good going so far. The question is whether she can take enough of a step forward.