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The bookies said the Queensland Oaks 2015 win would be an easy one for Chris Waller’s progressive filly Winx and they had it spot on as the Sydney raider came from back in the field to thrash her rivals with an impressive Group 1 victory at Doomben.
Unlucky when running second in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) two back, Waller took his classy daughter of Street Cry to the Sunshine Coast on May 16 for a lead-up run in the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m).
Winx handled the drop back in distance and class and her first Queensland run in a last-to-first romp in the Guineas before backing up at Doomben Racecourse in the $500,000 Group 1 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2200m) to give Waller his incredible 13th Group 1 win of the season.
“I didn’t even expect to win,” the humble trainer said.
“You don’t think like that you just think and hope they can do their best and she showed that she was dominant today.
“We make a lot of excuses for horses, but when you’ve got that bit of class and turn of foot it doesn’t matter where you sit or where you draw they can overcome things like that.
“A good horse makes things look easy, makes trainers look good, jockeys look good.”
She started near odds-on territory in the Oaks markets at Ladbrokes.com.au with Hugh Bowman riding her form barrier 10 of 16 in a capacity field for the three-year-old fillies’ classic.
While Bowman said post-win he would have been happy to settle up in the first five on speed, the Oaks field led around by the Ben Currie-trained Col ‘N’ Lil coming off a second to the Gai Waterhouse-trained Bohemian Lily in last weekend’s Group 2 The Roses (2020m), Winx went back fourth last.
“I would have been happy to sit up in the first five if I could have got there without pressure,” Bowman said.
“But she was comfortable so therefore I was.”
Bowman then didn’t push forward, allowing the others to do the hard work early while his filly enjoyed a rest before her late finish.
Throughout the run it was the Toowoomba-trained Col ‘N’ Lil leading from the New Zealand Oaks runner-up Platinum Witness and the Peter Moody-trained Imperial Lass who got in as the first emergency after an elbow injury saw The Roses winner Bohemian Lily scratch out.
Platinum Witness then dropped back to fourth with Waller’s other runner, Princess Stakes winner Ballet Suite finally getting over from the outside alley to move up closer.
With 900m left to travel Winx still only had three behind her in the 16-starter field but as they approached the turn she started to make her way forward, Bowman timing the ride beautifully getting out at the right time aboard the right horse for the job.
Col ‘N’ Lil led into the straight with Moody’s Tavistock filly Imperial Lass, last seen running fifth to Ballet Suite in the Princess Stakes at the track on May 9, issuing the challenge on the outside.
Over the final 300m however Winx pulled to the outside and stormed home, winding up inside the 200m to race away and lead from Imperial Lass and the Robert Smerdon-trained Ungrateful Ellen who also came with a big run in the closing stages with Craig Williams aboard.
On the line Winx ($2.05) had three lengths to spare over Smerdon’s Grey Swallow filly Ungrateful Ellen ($15), who came into the race off a third in Morphettville’s Group 3 SA Fillies Classic (2500m) from a fortnight ago, with roughie chance Imperial Lass ($41) holding for third after her inside alley put her in the race.
Ungrateful Ellen was brave in defeat but just lacked the quality and acceleration of the winner who put in an exciting Queensland Oaks finish, Winx displaying one of the biggest finishes in racing and a turn of foot that impressed Bowman greatly.
“It was a strong affair and while it probably wasn’t a vintage Oaks, she’s certainly done the job and has got plenty of upside,” he said.
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2015 Queensland Oaks Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 7 – 30/05/2015
|1||2||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||10||56.5kg||$1.95F|
|2||13||UNGRATEFUL ELLEN||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||3.5L||9||56.5kg||$12|
|3||17e||IMPERIAL LASS (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Blake Shinn||4L||1||56.5kg||$51|
|4||15||ZARZALI||Bart & James Cummings||Tommy Berry||5.3L||6||56.5kg||$15|
|5||5||RUSTIC MELODY||Kris Lees||James McDonald||5.7L||13||56.5kg||$18|
|6||14||NO TRICKS (NZ)||Wayne Walters||Michael Cahill||7L||2||56.5kg||$151|
|7||4||BALLET SUITE||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||7.2L||16||56.5kg||$9.50|
|8||16||YULONG BABY||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||7.5L||15||56.5kg||$51|
|9||11||SEBRINA||Bjorn Baker||Glen Boss||9.3L||5||56.5kg||$8.50|
|10||7||WHATALOVELYDAY||Jon Walk||Tegan Harrison||9.5L||8||56.5kg||$91|
|11||6||COL ’N’ LIL||Ben Currie||Luke Tarrant (a)||11L||4||56.5kg||$31|
|12||3||PLATINUM WITNESS||Lisa Latta||Damian Browne||11.8L||11||56.5kg||$15|
|13||8||EXQUISITE JEWEL (NZ)||Sue Walsh||Jim Byrne||12L||3||56.5kg||$19|
|14||12||ANAPHORA||Tony Noonan||Timothy Bell||16L||14||56.5kg||$71|
|15||10||SWIFT LADY (NZ)||John Sargent||Tye Angland||16.8L||12||56.5kg||$26|
|16||9||HEAVENS ABOVE||Tim Martin||Glyn Schofield||18.8L||7||56.5kg||$31|
|–||20e||MINE WITH LIME||Matt Kropp||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||21e||STEWBALL||Phyllis Kalinowski||Kelvin Wharton||–||0||–||–|
|–||19e||SHANDAARA (NZ)||Robbie Laing||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||1||BOHEMIAN LILY (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||–||0||–||–|
|–||18e||CHAMPION STAGE (NZ)||John Sargent||–||–||0||–||–|
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