It was a photo finish for the SA Fillies Classic 2015 result at Morphettville on The Goodwood Day with the Phillip Stokes-trained local Okahu Bay holding on to score a brave all-the-way win.
Jockey Matthew Neilson was one of the best out of the barriers in the $115,000 Group 3 SA Fillies Classic (2500m), taking advantage of the good gate two draw to take Flying Spur filly Okahu Bay to the front early.
Also going up was jockey Craig Williams on one of the favourites Ungrateful Ellen who was drawn the outside and the Shaune Rithchie-trained Kiwi raider Snow Secret.
Williams rolled forward on the Robert Smerdon-trained Ungrateful Ellen, coming off a fifth in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) at the track from May 2, but things didn’t go to plan as she got posted three wide going forward.
Coming off a second behind fellow SA Fillies Classic rival Monopole over 2122m at Gawler from May 7, Okahu Bay led them round at a good speed with the Glen Boss-ridden Snow Secret nice and relaxed travelling second on her outside.
Also up towards the front were the likes of the Darren Weir-trained Keep The Klass with Michelle Payne aboard and Robbie Laing’s Al Maher filly Cinnamon Carter.
Turning the 2500m showdown into a true staying test, Okahu Bay and Neilson led into the turn for home while Ungrateful Ellen continued to suffer a torrid run out wide.
Approaching the bend the fillies started their runs, Snow Secret going up to lay it down and narrowly get ahead of Okahu Bay for a brief moment before the eventual SA Fillies Classic winner kicked back.
Having worked from a midfield position to make up ground late, the big challenge then came from the Dan O’Sullivan-trained Bahamas with Damien Oliver taking the consistent Teofilo filly right up to the frontrunner.
Third in the Schweppes Oaks last time out but showing a definite liking for the extra metres of the SA Fillies Classic, the Ballarat-based Bahamas ($2.30) did her best on the outside but the well-backed hope couldn’t snare the roughie Okahu Bay ($71) who got the nose down on the inside on the line and salute in a big upset.
Rounding out the SA Fillies Classic trifecta, which paid around $750 in NSW at Ladbrokes.com.au, was then the unlucky Ungrateful Ellen ($3) who did her best after such a poor run.
Last year third-past-the-post in the SA Fillies Classic Every Faith travelled to Brisbane for her next start, going up in class for a shot at the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m).
This year’s Queensland Oaks runs at Doomben on May 30 and could also be on the agenda for some of the better performed fillies in the SA Fillies Classic.
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2015 SA Fillies Classic Results & Finishing Order
Morphettville Race 3 – 16/05/2015
|1||7||OKAHU BAY||Phillip Stokes||Matthew Neilson||–||2||56kg||$41|
|2||1||BAHAMAS||Dan O’Sullivan||Damien Oliver||0.1L||8||56kg||$2F|
|3||2||UNGRATEFUL ELLEN||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||0.5L||14||56kg||$2.90|
|4||10||KEEP THE KLASS (NZ)||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||1.3L||1||56kg||$71|
|5||4||SNOW SECRET (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||Glen Boss||1.6L||12||56kg||$6|
|6||3||TRY YOUR BEST (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||2.3L||9||56kg||$31|
|7||6||MONOPOLE||Tony McEvoy||Jason Holder||3.3L||3||56kg||$31|
|8||12||KIWI COLLEEN (NZ)||Andrew Noblet||Mark Zahra||3.8L||13||56kg||$18|
|9||14||DANE HUSSLER||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Vlad Duric||4.2L||6||56kg||$51|
|10||13||BAJA MOON||Patrick Payne||Ben Melham||7.1L||11||56kg||$61|
|11||11||LISPENARD||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||7.9L||4||56kg||$31|
|12||8||CINNAMON CARTER||Robbie Laing||Joe Bowditch||8.5L||7||56kg||$14|
|12||9||MIGHTY MAHER||Gary Searle||Simon Price||8.5L||5||56kg||$61|
|14||15||CRYING ANGEL (NZ)||Steve Richards||Chris Parnham||11.6L||10||56kg||$51|
|–||5||KAWABATA||Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington||Clare Lindop||–||0||–||–|