The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Trainer Chris Waller celebrated his second Australasian Oaks win in four years with his ATC Oaks runner-up Toffee Tongue finally breaking her maiden status in elite company at Morphettville on Saturday.
In 2017 Waller won the Robert Sangster Stakes Day support act with Egg Tart and in 2020 he was back in winning form with well-bred Tavistock filly Toffee Tongue shrugging her placegetter status with a good win in the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes Australasian Oaks (2000m).
The bonny bay came off four straight second placings, the latest behind Collette in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) over the mile and a half at Randwick during ‘The Championships’.
Dropping back to 2000m and drawn ideally in barrier three, the punters came for Toffee Tongue in Australasian Oaks betting with the filly firming into $4.80 favouritism with Ladbrokes.com.au before the jump despite Waller admitting the race hadn’t always been on her autumn agenda.
“We only decided to send her to Adelaide after she ran so well in the Australian Oaks and the Adrian Knox before that,” Waller told AAP.
“She was earmarked for Queensland.
“Even though it was her first win, I felt she was always improving.
“Her run in the Adrian Knox Stakes was great and her run in the Australian Oaks was brilliant. She perhaps should have finished at least a bit closer.
“It’s great to get the Group I with her.”
She was the only maiden in the race, but that didn’t scare off the money and it was a brilliant start with Toffee Tongue away beautifully for jockey Damien Thornton.
It was ugly early in the Oaks with a charge from out wide by a number of fillies looking to settle in the first half of the field, Selica just shading Walking Flying for the front running position.
There was pace in the first half of the race, Thornton however bided his time letting Toffee Tongue settle towards the back on the rails.
At the 1200m VRC Oaks placegetter Moonlight Maid whipped around to take up the lead in the Oaks and she held that position onto the home straight.
At the 300m however Toffee Tongue was building, reaching the front and getting out to a clear win over the brave Moonlight Maid with Affair To Remember in third for trainer Dan O’Sullivan.
It was a lovely ride by Thornton who broke through for his own Group 1 winning ride at his 15th elite level assignment, the hoop getting right up on the inside to score as the leaders moved off the rails late.
Thornton was one of the interstate hoops who headed to Adelaide for the autumn, happy to self-isolate due to the COVID-19 for the required 14 days in order to ride in the Australasian Oaks.
|1||9||TOFFEE TONGUE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Damien Thornton||–||3||56kg||$5F|
|2||3||MOONLIGHT MAID||Mitchell Freedman||Zac Spain||0.8L||10||56kg||$11|
|3||14||AFFAIR TO REMEMBER||Dan O’Sullivan||John Allen||1L||5||56kg||$6.50|
|4||6||LA FALAISE||Henry Dwyer||Ms Georgina Cartwright (a)||1.1L||8||56kg||$71|
|5||16||WALKING FLYING (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Ryan Hurdle||1.7L||12||56kg||$61|
|6||8||WINGS OF PASTRAMI||Jeff Searle||Jake Toeroek||2.1L||2||56kg||$31|
|7||15||ZAYYDANI (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Paul Gatt||2.4L||7||56kg||$31|
|8||11||SELICA (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Ms Kayla Crowther (a)||2.7L||13||56kg||$26|
|9||4||ASIAGO||James Cummings||Justin Potter||3.2L||15||56kg||$51|
|10||10||SILENT SOVEREIGN||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Barend Vorster||3.3L||6||56kg||$15|
|11||5||VEGAS JEWEL (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh||Jason Holder||4.6L||4||56kg||$6|
|12||7||BETCHA FLYING||Chris Waller||Dom Tourneur||4.8L||11||56kg||$18|
|13||2||NUDGE||Chris Waller||Todd Pannell||5L||9||56kg||$11|
|14||13||SIERRA SUE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ethan Brown||5.6L||16||56kg||$9.50|
|15||1||FASCINO (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Shayne Cahill||6L||14||56kg (cd 56.5kg)||$71|
|16||12||BEAUTY BOLT||Grahame Begg||Dean Holland||6L||1||56kg||$31|
|–||19e||REALM OF FLOWERS||Anthony Freedman||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||20e||MISS HARRIETTE||Shane Nichols||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||17e||NOVEMBER DREAMING||Danny O’Brien||–||–||0||–||–|
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