Danny O’Brien’s two-year-old filly El Patroness has produced an elite staying performance to take out the $1 million Australian Oaks at Royal Randwick.
The Kiwi-bred daughter of Tarzino won the first Group 1 on Day 2 of The Championships, largely thanks to a perfect ride from Damian Lane aboard the $31 pop.
Making up ground proved difficult on another rain-soaked track in Sydney, and it was Lane’s decision to roll forward and take an inside run that proved the difference once the pair found running room at the top of the straight.
The now 24-time Group 1 winning jock found himself with plenty of horse under him over the final furlong, kicking home to win comfortably ahead of the well-backed Gypsy Goddess and Gin Martini.
“Danny and the rest of the stable have always had a high opinion of her and they thought she might be a VRC Oaks horse but she didn’t quite get there, but it’s good to have her here in good form today and do the job,” Lane told Sky Racing.
The Oaks was a clear target race for El Patroness, although she was a genuine query after racing on firm tracks in Melbourne leading in.
Her last start at The Valley was worth forgiving after she over-raced in the Alister Clark Stakes, but her form prior when running back-to-back thirds at Caulfield stacked up well.
Gypsy Goddess lost no admirers sticking on for second, while Surround Stakes winner Hinged also rattled home late for fourth after pushing forward.