Oaks Day, also commonly known as Ladies’ Day, was the next race day of the busy Melbourne Cup Carnival and it was absolutely brilliant. The Inner Sanctum reviews the nine action-packed races on Thursday at Flemington.
Race one: TCL TV Stakes
They were off at the 1700 and Madame Du Gast was the best away from barrier 2 then from the outside gate, Chandon Burj moved forward and right across the track. Matron Bullwinkel after an ok start rolled forward among the leaders as Volpe Risorsa burst out of the field and took off to lead through 400m.
With 1000m to run Volpe Risorsa held a slimmer lead over Chandon Burj and Artika, next in the field was Matron Bullwinkel and Madame Du Gast then following them was Cabaca. Towards the back of the field as they closed in on the straight was Hardly Sweet and Missy Longport
With 450m to go, it was still Volpe Risorsa but Chandon Burk and Artia were rolling around the outside looking to move past the leader, Tahlequah from just off midfield drew wider and pushed for a win. Then through the middle of the track was the favourite Matron Bullwinkel who really had to fight for a gap and got it, then burst on and scored in the first.
First: 7. Matron Bullwinkel
Second: 4. Chandon Burj
Third: 3. Madame Du Gast
Race two: Darley Ottawa Stakes
Gates crashed and they were racing down the straight, Tabata Set was one of the better starters as was Spicy Margs on the inside. Harleen was also among the front runners with Charm Stone as the field of 16 moved to the inside of the track. Angelique sat about midfield as one of the favourites Empress Of Wonder ran near last.
500 to the judge, Tabata Set from the lead was the first to spring for home, Charm Stone than in response kicked up and pressed for the lead, Hell Queen was about a length behind but giving good chase. Down the outside with 300m left in the race was Empress Of Wonder and she was flying home.
Charm Stone, then in the final 200m kicked clear of Tabata Set and never looked back to race away with a comfortable win over a gallant run from Empress Of Wonder and Hell Queen rounded out the minor placings in the second on Oaks Day.
First: 2. Charm Stone
Second: 12. Empress Of Wonder
Third: 5. Hell Queen
Race three: Inglis Bracelet
Towards the outside Glassey Miss was fast out the gates joining Ancient Girl and Bubbly Lass as the front runners, closely following them was Climbing Star and the heavy favourite Roots slotted in prime position just off the pace. Among the midfield was Sur La Mer and Arctic Thunder, then towards the back of the back at the 1200m was Princess Rhaenys.
Bubbly Lass and Ancient Girl kicked out to about a three-length lead as they ran side by side. Following them were Climbing Star and Glassey Miss remained up the front. Favourite Roots sat in seventh position about nine to ten lengths off the lead but looked to be in good touch as they rounded the bend at a strong pace.
Bubbly Lass straightened first but the field had something to say about it and gave strong chase, Climbing Star back to the inside looked strong and moved up to the tiring leader. Roots then presented down the outside and alongside Climbing Star went stride for stride right down the length of Flemington but Roots found a second wind late and delivered for James McDonald.
First: 8. Roots
Second: 12. Climbing Star
Third: 4. Sur La Mer
Race four: Off The Track Desirable Stakes
Starter caught them beautifully at the 1400m mark but She’s Pretty Rich and Vienna Princess quickly dropped back to the back of the back. There was an early tough battle for the lead and Portray emerged as the better, Hell Hound then with Grey River and Far From Discreet sat just behind the leader.
Following the front four was Hell Hath No Fury and Amati as was Birdie’s Galore, then rounding out the field still Vienna Princess. Portray led by two lengths to Grey River, followed by Hell Hound as the field rounded the bend bound for the straight.
Into the running and Portray extended his lead to three lengths over Grey River as the two of them bolted from the field making it a two-horse race, the field was racing for third but there was no catching the leaders.
That was until from absolutely nowhere Razeta emerged from the middle of the track and with 100m to go still needed three lengths and stormed over the top for a miracle victory.
First: 14. Razeta
Second: 2. Grey River
Third: 1. See You In Heaven
Race five: Cirka Trophy
Reuber was by far the worst out of the gate of the lot, missing the start by about four lengths and had to burn unwanted early energy to get back up to even the tailenders. Carlisle was the early leader from on the inside of Shibli then in between horses was Doucer. Racing up tightly was Saint Bathens and Alcyone.
The field for the most part held position all the way around the far side of the track past Chiquita Lodge, Shibli took an early lead rounding for home over Carlisle, Saint Bathens then moved up around the outside to contend for the lead and Douceur back to rails wanted a gap.
Down the straight, Carlisle quickly raced away with Shibli and they put good ground on the rest of the field, as the wall of about six horses gave chase to the leaders. Carlisle looked the stronger of the leaders and kicked away in the final 50 as the field closed in for an upset win.
First: 15. Carlisle
Second: 4. Alcyone
Third: 14. Right You Are
Race six: G.H. Mumm Century Stakes
Gates crashed back with a good line up the top of the straight, as Yulong Command only had one intention, which was to lead from the offset. Next in the field was Joyful Fortune with Zoustyle for company and then came Athelric.
Yulong Command showed no signs of slowing with 550m to the judge as one of just two horses on the inside half of the course with Athelric behind it. Back to the outside of the track was Joyful Fortune joined by Ashford Street and Kallos from near last in the field pulled out furthest to spark any possibility.
400 to go Yulong Command seemed to tire on the far side as Joyful Fortune raced up to take the lead at the clocktower, Zoustyle also pressed for the lead but there was no catching the favourite who made it three wins from its last five starts in style too.
First: 5. Joyful Fortune
Second: 3. Zoustyle
Third: 7. Yulong Cup Carnival
Race seven: Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final
Best away in the Country Final was No Surrender who raced away to a lengthy lead, being pursued by Vasmee and Play on Words. Following the front runners early was Toregene and one of the fence just off the pace was Place Of Gold. Bookman sat about midfield on the rails as Polanco rolled wider with 1000m to go.
Just past half distance at 800m, No Surrender held the leading position back to the inside as Vasmee and Play On Words set off around the outside of the leader, Vasmee was the first to go for broke at the 500 and snapped a narrow lead before favourite Toregene cracked a gap and got through with two furlongs to race.
Toregene raced up to the lead but No Surrender did exactly as his name suggests and continued to fight with 200, Bookman then shot up to the inside following Toregene. Corona Lad then down the outside flashed home with Realeza but there was no catching the favourite, Toregene did it and did so with strength.
First: 14. Toregene
Second: 5. Bookman
Third: 13. Corona Lad
Race eight: Kennedy Oaks
They were off and racing in the Oaks and Zenzella and Pavitra went to the lead, Queen Air then wanted a piece of the action as did She’s Extreme. Let’sbefrankbaby was on the speed early at the post then drifted back behind Albanian Icon.
Pavitra wanted to get a wriggle on at the 1600m and commanded a two-length lead over Zenzella who was on the outside of short-priced favourite She’s Extreme in the box seat. Queen Air sat in fourth ahead of Albanian Icon.
Next in the Kennedy Oaks was Makrana and Let’sbefrankbaby and Foxy Cleopatra. Rounding out the field with 1000m to run was As Time Goes By and Renaissance Woman.
As they turned for home, Queen Air was the first filly to show her hand with Pavitra, still leading. Zenzella gave good chase and She’s Extreme drew to the inside and raced up to Pavitra. She’s Extreme then raced up and drew clear at the 200 of Pavitra who hustled on for a desperate win but to no avail, as She’s Extreme was too good in the 2022 Oaks
First: 1. She’s Extreme
Second: 4. Pavitra
Third: 8. Queen Air
Race nine: 10 News First Red Roses Stakes
In the final event of Oaks Day, Aitch Two Oh and Bay Thirteen were among the best away, Troach was the only one to stick to the inside in the early stages and gained momentum to move up to the lead.
La Danseuse Rouge was also among the front runners with English Riviera and Lady Laguna sitting a couple of lengths from the lead as the field made it to the course proper. Exo Lady was in the middle of the pack with Spicy Hot Pot alongside.
With just 400m to run in the Red Roses, Troach was the first to pass the marker quickly followed by Aitch Two Oh from English Riviera gave good chase then towards the far outside was Bay Thirteen. In the final strides of the Aitch Two and La Danseuse Rouge went toe to toe but Aitch Two Oh got the nose down at the judge and claimed the last in yet another big upset on Oaks Day.
First: 7. Aitch Two Oh
Second: 13. La Danseuse Rouge
Third: 12. Bay Thirteen
Next up is Stakes Day on Saturday which is the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and once again The Inner Sanctum will be all over the day’s running.
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