Declan Bates' breakout spring continued at Caulfield on Saturday with a Group 3 victory aboard emerging filly Gamay.
The Irish expatriate, who last month won a maiden Group 1 aboard Begood Toya Mother, delivered a textbook ride aboard the Archie Alexander-trained filly in the New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes.
Gamay collared Ocean Miss and Celestial Falls inside the final 200m, before staving off the late challenge of Mark Kavanagh's Vegas Jewel.
Gamay and Declan Bates hold out Vega Jewel (NZ) and Jordan Childs (checks), picture Quentinjlang.com
The Coolmore-owned daughter of Pierro is now the $7 second favourite in BetEasy's Kennedy Oaks market, which is headed by Vegas Jewel and Thousand Guineas winner Flit (both $6).
Bates, who has ridden at Avoca's Cup meeting on the corresponding day in recent years, said Gamay should have little trouble stepping out in trip.
"Normally I'd be at Avoca today for their good meeting and I'd normally get a few winners but I'm happy to come here and take this one," Bates said.
"I always traveled like the winner and she found plenty under pressure.
"I think she can step out further in trip and lift again."