- Emma-lee Browne did Nostradamus proud with Facebook post
- Her filly Basilinna is one of the leading contenders for the Oaks
- Top bookie rates the three-year-old’s chances in the $1million event
The trainer of Oaks contender Basilinna made an eerily accurate prediction about the horse in a social media post more than two years before the filly was named to compete in the $1million race with legendary jockey Damien Oliver on board.
Emma-lee Browne’s Facebook message from July 27, 2021 reads: ‘Our baby! So Royal weanling filly looking fabulous after all the amazing care and so much education given by Wentwood Grange. They have done such an excellent job and she’s looking super! Hopefully my Oaks filly’.
Now the horse is a great chance of taking out the race and giving Oliver his record eighth Oaks victory, sitting as one of the top favourites as she pays $9.50.
Trainer Emma-lee Browne (pictured) is overjoyed that her prediction from July 2021 has come true with her filly Basilinna
She predicted the three-year-old would one day contend for the $1million race in a Facebook post (pictured)
Basilinna is the daughter of stallion Staphanos and Shinko King-mare So Royal, with David Browne buying the latter horse for his wife Emma-lee after her favourite nag, Monarch Chimes, passed away.
‘To make me feel better he thought to buy me a Shinko King mare and we bred her and this is the first foal,’ Browne told the Herald Sun.
‘You always think about [the chance of a horse running in the Oaks] with a bit of a staying type but at that point I never thought she’d actually be there.
‘It’s just awesome to have her in the race.’
Oliver is well acquainted with Basilinna, having ridden her for her last two starts in what Browne called their ‘grand plan’ to give the three-year-old the best chance of winning.
Basilinna (pictured) is one of the top three chances of taking out the Oaks race on Thursday, according to one of Australia’s leading bookmakers
It’s the last Melbourne Spring Carnival for jockey Damien Oliver (pictured) and a win on Basilinna would give him a record eighth Oaks victory
Meanwhile, leading bookmaker and Bet Right CEO Anthony Waller is tipping Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Mark Zahra to win the Oaks on Aethelflaed.
“It pays to follow a jockey in form and after a first-class steer on Without a Fight to victory in the Melbourne Cup, no one has more confidence at present than Mark Zahra,’ Waller explained.
‘Despite finishing behind many of her rivals at her most recent outing, Aethelflaed caught the eye with some fast-closing sections and the extra distance of Thursday’s feature will be right up her alley.’
Waller believes Zahra’s main competition will come from Tropical Squall, which is likely to lead and will be hard to hunt down, and none other than Oliver on Basilinna.
‘It has been well documented that the champion hoop will be retiring at the end of the Spring Carnival and a win in the Oaks would not only cap of a remarkable career in the saddle but would provide a fairytale ending befitting of a such a champion,’ he said.
He’s not as keen on favourite Zardozi, however – pointing out that she looks ‘a little underpriced at $2.90’ with jockey James McDonald not enjoying a good strike rate in Melbourne events.