Waller’s Oaks bid coming up roses again
CHRIS Waller put himself in the box seat to win a third Queensland Oaks in four years after late boomer Youngstar ground down stablemate Another Dollar to win the Group 2 Roses at Doomben on Saturday.
Sydney's leading trainer won last year's Oaks with Egg Tart and, most famously, the 2015 version with Winx.
Stable representative Charlie Duckworth said Youngstar's emergence late in the season highlights one of the great things about Australian racing.
"In Europe, you have the Oaks in England, Ireland and France all within a few weeks of each other, so if you're not ready, you miss out," Duckworth said.
"Whereas in Australia, there's a spread of seven months where fillies can have time to develop and prove themselves a classic horse.
"Youngstar always had the quality of a VRC or ATC Oaks filly, but she just wasn't ready. So we were able to be patient and give her a proper preparation for the Queensland Oaks."
Underlining this fact, Youngstar did not make her race debut until two days after Pinot won this season's VRC Oaks.
She broke her maiden status at Hawkesbury in April, before booking her ticket to Queensland with a dominant display from the back of the field over 1885m at Newcastle.
Duckworth noted Youngstar, a daughter of the exceptional stallion High Chaparral, is still not physically mature and jockey Kerrin McEvoy confirmed she is still learning her trade.
"She took a bit of waking up. She's still very young mentally," McEvoy said.
While Youngstar was impressive, runner-up Another Dollar was brave again, forced to cover plenty of ground from her wide barrier.
"It was an enormous effort and her run was almost as good as the winner. She's just a filly that has had no luck throughout her career so far," Duckworth said.
Unlike her win in the Bracelet a fortnight back where she was friendless in betting, Torvill found plenty of support from punters on Saturday, but failed to see out the 2000m.
Sheiswhatsheis again showed her liking for the Doomben mile and added some very important value to her asking price when she took the Listed Members' Handicap (1600m).
It was the mare's eighth win and sixth over the Doomben mile, but more importantly, her first at stakes level.
The daughter of Bernardini is catalogued to be sold at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on May 29, but trainer Tony Gollan intends to give her another start before then, with a similar race scheduled for May 26.
Only minutes before Sheiswhatsheis' narrow win over Aqua Vite, Gollan had a lucky escape when a horse kicked out in the saddling enclosure and missed him by centimetres.
"That was two close shaves in the matter of minutes. I really didn't know if she had won but it was a great ride by Jeff (Lloyd)," Gollan said.
"I have been saying for some time she would win a black-type race and now she has done that. She is in the sale but the owners may want to have a think and race on with her."