The Godolphin blue was flashing home to win early on Derby Day at Flemington with the nicely-bred John O’Shea-trained filly Ambience earning a Crown Oaks bid next Thursday back at the track with a runaway win in the Wakeful Stakes 2015.
A daughter of Street Cry out of Miss Right Note, the three-year-old atoned for a wayward run at Caulfield last start when third to Dawnie Perfect in the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) a fortnight ago with a tidy win in the $300,000 Group 2 Mumm Wakeful Stakes (2000m).
She didn’t suit the Caulfield track in the Ethereal, but her first look at Flemington showed she had an affinity for the roomier course with James McDonald giving her the gun run late allowing her to fly home for a big three length victory – her third from six career starts.
Robert Smerdon’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic winner from last weekend on Cox Plate Day My Poppette won the jump in the Wakeful towards the inside and led throughout right up until the final 200m.
Bengal Cat was also quick out of the gates, battling My Poppette for the lead throughout, while McDonald got Ambience to switch off early and settle just off the pace before moving up to third on the inside at the 1000m mark.
Around the turn for home McDonald cut the corner with Ambience and never panicked despite there not being much room at the top of the famous Flemington straight.
Beluga Blue was looking for the inside run and was luckless over the closing stages where Ambience showed a brilliant turn of foot for a staying filly.
With 200m left to travel Ambience ($4.20) kicked up and pounced on the lead before dashing away to run out a very strong 2000m as O’Shea hoped she would.
She had three lengths to spare on the line from the Adelaide visitor Beluga Blue ($15) who came off a black-type win back home over 1800m, while the Gerald Ryan-trained daughter of Danehill Dancer Myzuka ($9.50) crossed for third after her 2100m win at Wyong the start before.
McDonald was full of post-win praise after his first ever Victoria Derby Day success aboard a filly he believes will shape up as a very strong chance in the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on November 5.
“She’s a beautiful filly,” he said after Ambience stayed on her right leg, did what was asked and didn’t panic when squeezed at the top of the straight before finding the fresh air and putting the result to bed.
“She’s now a Group 2 winner and she’s got a beautiful pedigree to back her up.
“She didn’t get around Caulfield very well (in the Ethereal)…but coming here today she did everything really well.
“She’ll stay the mile and a half (2400m) so looking forward to the Oaks if they decide to press on.”
Early thoughts from O’Shea, who has saddled up four previous VRC Oaks runners without a top three finish, are that they will back the filly up and give her the chance to complete the Wakeful Stakes – Crown Oaks double last achieved by Kirramosa (2013) just two years ago.
“She’s got a lovely turn of foot for a stying filly,” he said.
“Things just didn’t go right for her at Caulfield two weeks ago.
“She got on her right leg and showed a nice performance today.
“Once James come off their (the leaders’) back we were confident she’d run out a strong 2000 (metres).
“She relaxes good and a decision on whether to run her (in the Oaks) will be made in the next 48 hourse.
“I’d lean towards running her.
“At this stage, I wouldn’t see too many reasons not to.
“Her mother was very stout and (sire) Street Cry can get horses to run a bit of ground too.”
After her Wakeful Stakes win Ambience is paying $4.20 in Crown Oaks betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on Derby Day, with markets led by Sacred Eye ($3.30).
To get behind her in the Crown Oaks at the best price head to Ladbrokes now!
2015 Wakeful Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 2 – 31/10/2015
|1||4||AMBIENCE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||3||55.5kg||$4.20EF|
|2||5||BELUGA BLUE||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Hugh Bowman||3.5L||1||55.5kg||$15|
|3||10||MUZYKA||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||4L||13||55kg||$10|
|4||2||DAWNIE PERFECT||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||4.1L||4||56kg||$7.50|
|5||13||ZARABEEL (NZ)||Leon & Troy Corstens||Stephen Baster||4.6L||12||55kg||$41|
|6||6||BENGAL CAT||John Sadler||Opie Bosson||5L||7||55kg||$13|
|7||1||MY POPPETTE||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||5.2L||2||57kg||$4.20EF|
|8||11||RITZY||Anthony Cummings||Tommy Berry||5.3L||8||55kg||$26|
|9||3||THE GREY FLASH||Robbie Laing||Chris Parnham||7.3L||5||56kg||$61|
|10||8||ASHLEE MARIE||Richard Laming||Steven King||7.8L||14||55kg||$101|
|11||12||C’EST BEAU LA VIE||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Craig Williams||11.8L||6||55kg||$26|
|12||15||PRINCESS ARIA||Marc Conners||Damien Oliver||12.8L||10||55kg||$31|
|13||9||BANNATYNE||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||13.55L||11||55kg||$18|
|14||14||DAWN OF HOPE||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||16.05L||15||55kg||$31|
|15||7||LAZUMBA||Steve Richards||James Winks||24.05L||9||55kg||$41|