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Orchestral bypassing Derby for Oaks

An extra seven days between racing and the hope of a better weather forecast has led co-trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood to look to the Australian Oaks on the second day of The Championships for Orchestral (NZ) rather than backing up in the ATC Australian Derby this Saturday.

The three-year-old filly by Cox Plate-winning sire Savabeel scored her second win at the highest level with her victory in the Group 1 Vinery Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday as a $1.57 favourite.

"The extra week will help her," Wellwood told RSN927. "With the forecast this week, hopefully the conditions won't be as rain affected next week."

Orchestral (NZ) and James McDonald were narrow winners of the Vinery Stakes on Saturday; picture sportpix.com.au

James McDonald's post-race comments after the Vinery win are likely to have played a part in the stable's thinking.

"She had to have all the quality [to win]," McDonald said. "She was out on her feet, like good ones do, she's just very good.

"It's a weird feeling riding her because the first time I ever sat on her, I was, 'right, good filly' ride the winner and forget about the next one but when I hopped off her I thought, there's something damned, damned good about this thing."

Orchestral (NZ) is now the $1.70 favourite for the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 13 with the James Cummings-trained Zardozi on the second line of betting at $4.

Up to 70 millimetres of rain is forecast for Sydney from Wednesday through to Saturday.

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