|Monday, 4 June 2012
: Kiwi fillies continued their recent dominance of the Queensland Oaks last Saturday at Eagle Farm with Quintessential taking out the 2400m event in testing conditions.
Quintessential was part of a three way battle for favouritism in the event alongside fellow kiwi-trained fillies Dowager Queen
and Miss Artistic
The 2400m of last Saturday's Queensland Oaks was made even more gruelling for the three-year-olds due to the Heavy 10 surface on offer at Eagle Farm.Quintessential
went into the Group 1 feature on the back of a lengthy campaign that commenced in December which had yielded a Group win and multiple placings including her third in the New Zealand Oaks behind Miss Artistic.
Both of Quintessential's Queensland runs contained merit with the John Sargent-trained three-year-old settling back before catching the eye when making up good ground over the final stages in each.
Rising to the 2400m after her strong showing in the Doomben Roses, from an inside barrier connections elected to position the filly more forward.
Leading Queensland jockey Damien Browne urged the Fast 'n' Famous filly forward from the start with the pair able to sit at the rear of the leading pack.
While most of the field were struggling under the conditions at the turn, Quintessential had moved closer to the early leaders and found herself in clear running soon after.
The Chris Waller-trained outsider Eliza Blues
threw down the gauntlet in the straight however by the 150m Quintessential had levelled up with the leader prior to drawing clear for a 2.5 length victory.
Eliza Blues stuck to her task for a valuable Group 1 placing as did the Mick Kent-trained Vittoria
Last Saturday's Group 1 Queensland Oaks saw Quintessential record a new peak Timeform
figure of 108, three pounds above her previous master rating of 105 which was yielded in the New Zealand Oaks.
Trainer John Sargent in the next 48 hours will make the call on whether Quintessential backs up in the Queensland Derby with Riva San
the last to claim the Oaks/Derby double in 2008.
Quintessential's latest master rating of 108 sits below the previous five year winning of the Oaks which is 110.
Such a winning average is considered low for an Australian Group 1 and looking at what previous Queensland Oaks runners have proceeded to do as mares, it is understandable to see why the events current status as a Group 1 affair has come under fire.
The 2011 winner Scarlett Lady
is the highest rated winner of the Oaks in the past five years with a performance assessed at 118.
Scarlett Lady has since failed to make an impression in Australia this season although did claim the New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 10, running to 117.
Third behind Scarlett Lady in the Oaks was Shez Sinsational
who proceeded to become a triple NZ Group 1 winner and also claimed the Group 2 Hollindale (2200m) on the Gold Coast last month.
A New Zealand-based filly who contests the Queensland Oaks and then proceeds to taste Group 1 success back across the Tasman has been a frequent enough occurrence over the past decade.
Aside from Scarlett Lady and Shez Sinsational, others to do so include Ekstreme, Juice, Gaze and Penny Gem.
While Queensland Oaks winning fillies have gone on to win the Queensland Derby later that preparation, form from the race generally hasn't held up the following seasons during Australia's Spring and Autumn carnivals.
2007 Queensland Oaks winner Eskimo Queen
was the last filly to claim a subsequent Group 1 success in Australia as a mare when she took out the 2008 Coolmore
You have to look back to the 2001 renewal of the Oaks for the next filly to have subsequently enjoyed Group 1 success as an older horse, and that was the champion mare Ethereal.
The Sheila Laxon-trained stayer proceeded to claim the Caulfield – Melbourne Cup double the following season.
1996 Oaks winner Arctic Scent rounds out a trio of fillies over the past two decades who have contested the Oaks and gone on and claimed an Australian Group 1 in following seasons.
She took out the Caulfield Cup later that year.
Historical Timeform Ratings - Australia
2yo's Timeform Ratings
3yo's Timeform Ratings
4yo's Timeform Ratings
5yo+ Timeform Ratings
European Top 10
Timeform Weekly Summary: