Gondokoro (NZ) wins Queensland Oaks

Rhys McLeod produced a gem of a ride in steering Gondokoro (NZ) to victory in the $400,000, Group 1 XXXX Gold Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The Zabeel filly was only narrowly defeated during The Roses the run prior behind Dear Demi however she emphatically turned the tables on Saturday.

Gondokoro was positioned midfield by jockey Rhys McLeod with the pair keeping Dear Demi well within their sights.

A crucial moment took place with approximately 900m remaining as Nash Rawiller began to move off the fence.

McLeod capitalised on this as he moved the Zabeel filly up through the field along the rail.

Rounding the home turn the pair did move off the fence before barging into clear running room upon straightening.

Gondokoro from there stamped her authority on the race as she pulled away to claim a three length victory.

Miss Zenalla (NZ) (Zabeel) and Luke Nolan and Vaquera (NZ) (High Chaparral) and Michael Rodd filled the minor placings. Race favourite Dear Demi finished more than eight lengths off the winner in seventh.

The margins were 2 3/4L and 2L with the time 2.32.17 on the Slow 6 track and the final 600m in 36.40.

Winning trainer Pat Carey was quick to praise the ride of McLeod post race.

“He is a very cool rider is Rhys and he rode the lovely race,” Carey said.

“Today was her day. Credit to Gondokoro and just a classic ride from Rhys.

“I was very happy to see her [Dear Demi] move off the fence. Rhys was able to get to where he wanted to be in the straight at the right time.

“It was the start of winning it and the finish was at the post.”

Gondokoro’s immediate future is unclear at this stage with connections unsure whether she will back up in the Queensland Derby next week or what her plans they have for her during the spring.

“We won’t make any sort of plans until we sit down and let the dust settle and that has always been our method of operation,” Carey said.

“She is a very strong staying filly and she can only improve in time as she furnishes out and develops.

“We are really focused on the autumn with her but we’ll see what Trevor [Delroy, owner] wants to do with her in the spring.”

Now a Group 1 winning filly, Gondokoro has maximised her future broodmare value even further with the daughter of Zabeel a full sister to Zabeelionaire.

“The mare [Kisumu] has had two foals for two Group 1 winners and Trevor [Delroy] has got the family sewn up,” Carey said.

“He owns the mare and owns all the siblings which are by Zabeel so he is looking forward to the future.”

While not confirmed for the Queensland Derby, Gondokoro’s Oaks success has seen her quote shortened into $9 with TAB Sportsbet Fixed Odds.