The Group 1 Queensland Oaks has gone the way of a New Zealand based filly for the third year in a row with the John Sargent trained Quintessential (NZ) outstaying her rivals on a rain soaked Eagle Farm.
Following in the footsteps of Miss Keepsake in 2010 and Scarlett Lady in 2011, Quintessential had little problem ploughing through the heavy conditions and handed her trainer his first Group 1 on Australian soil.
It was also a first Group 1 winner for her sire, a sprinter himself, Fast ‘n’Famous.
Given an ideal run throughout by jockey Damien Browne, Quintessential was able to settle on the back of the leading group, headed by fellow kiwi’s Poste Restante and favourite Miss Artistic.
That pair were in trouble as they swung for home, however, and Quintessential was there to pounce, taking a split as they balanced up and running down the Chris Waller trained Eliza Blues who had gone through on the inside to take it up shortly after turning.
Eliza Blues held second, 2.5 lengths away, with the Mick Kent trained [n]Vittoria[/n] boxing on steadily into third, a further length back, and Dowager Queen in fourth.
Sargent admitted he wasn’t overly confident leading into the race but that things had just panned out perfectly for his filly on the day.
“They are hard to win but we are really happy,” he said.
“It was a lovely ride and that helped a hell of a lot. She couldn’t have had a better run.
“We thought we better use the draw because you just can’t get back on this ground and he rode her perfectly. He got off at the right spot, at the 600m, and then off home.
“He had her going at the right time and he just got in front of the other horse (Eliza Blues) and it was a real slog.
“She got there in the end and that is the main thing.”
Sargent has six Group 1 wins to his name but was clearly pleased to be chalking up his first in Australia at his twenty-fifth attempt.
“We’ve had about six but this is the first one in Australia and it’s just fantastic.
“You’ve got to keep coming and having a go!”
Quntessential (NZ) and Damian Browne win an all New Zealand Queensland Oaks, picture Sportpix.com.au