There was no love for Tofane in Saturday’s...
Jockey Damien Oliver celebrated his sixth success in the 162nd running of the Group 1 $1 million Kennedy Oaks (2500m) at Flemington with the Lindsay Park-trained Personal finally shrugging her bridesmaid status to win the classic in a thrilling finish over Salto Angel and the beaten favourite Montefilia.
Oliver took his outstanding record in the three-years-old fillies’ staying feature to six wins in total, four since 2002 and back-to-back victories following on from his success aboard Miami Bound (2019) last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
One of the best Australian jockeys of all-time, the Oaks result was Oliver’s 122nd Group 1 victory – his 118th in Australia – and he now sits just four off the legendary George Moore.
He gave the Coolmore-raced Personal – a $640,000 buy from the Easter Sales – an absolutely brilliant ride, getting the best out of the filly who finally peaked on the right day to hand cousins Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes their first Group 1 success as a new training partnership in the absence of the now Hong Kong-based David Hayes.
“It’s a huge thrill and I know Dad back in Hong Kong will be very excited,” Hayes Jnr told the media post-win.
“We’ve been close with seconds in the Thousand Guineas and Caulfield Guineas, so this is a terrific result.”
The 2020 Kennedy Oaks was a truly run staying contest thanks to the bold front-running performance from Tyche Goddess who set a solid pace throughout Thursday’s feature event at HQ.
Off a truly run Oaks, it was also a thrilling finish with perennial runner-up Personal finally getting up on top off three straight second placings in the lead-up this campaign.
The Thousand Guineas runner-up was last seen finishing second in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and was the best out of that traditional Oaks lead-up to race in the Grand Final.
After an eye-catching but frustrating prep of second bests, the daughter of Fastnet Rock showed her staying ability relishing the give in the track and the 2500m to score just her second career success and first since a 1100m sprint at the track back in January as a juvenile.
Oliver had the eventual Kennedy Oaks winner settled in the second half of the field throughout, while the odds-on favourite Montefillia was given every chance by jockey Hugh Bowman parked in a beautiful trail fourth one off the fence.
Tyche Goddess led into the straight looking to go all-the-way in the Oaks, while David Payne’s Flight Stakes – Spring Champion Stakes double winner from Sydney Montefilia came around wide ready to pounce.
Soon Salto Angel joined in to make for an exciting finish against the top elect who really let down over the final furlong, while Personal began her charging late run right down the outside.
On the line Personal ($6.50) was too good, getting out to the lead 50m out and going on to beat the Danny O’Brien-trained roughie Salt Angel ($26) from last year’s winning stable, while Montefilia ($1.85) had to settle for third in the VRC Oaks results.
2020 Kennedy Oaks Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||PERSONAL||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||Damien Oliver||10||56kg||$6|
|2||5||SALTO ANGEL (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Ben Melham||1.25L||9||56kg||$21|
|3||1||MONTEFILIA||David Payne||Hugh Bowman||2.5L||5||56kg||$1.80F|
|4||6||MIRAVALLE||Mark Newnham||Craig Williams||5L||6||56kg||$5.50|
|5||3||CAFE RIZU||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Craig Newitt||7L||14||56kg||$41|
|6||4||SUCCEED INDEED||Leon & Troy Corstens||Mark Zahra||13L||13||56kg||$31|
|7||8||BIARCHI||David Jolly||John Allen||14L||1||56kg||$51|
|8||13||YATTON (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Jye McNeil||20L||4||56kg||$51|
|9||10||ART GLASS||Grahame Begg||William Pike||21.25L||12||56kg||$151|
|10||12||HARD SQUEEZE||Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock||Dean Yendall||27.25L||8||56kg||$101|
|11||14||SWINDON LASS||Matthew Brown||Brian Higgins||28.5L||11||56kg||$301|
|12||9||STAR OF EDEN||Michael Moroney||Billy Egan||38.5L||2||56kg||$41|
|13||7||TYCHE GODDESS||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Kerrin McEvoy||48.5L||3||56kg||$20|
|FF||11||VILANCULOS||Danny O’Brien||Jamie Kah||7||56kg||$21|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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