Imelda Mary (NZ) and Queen of Diamonds (NZ) Share Filly of the Year title as Sentimental Miss (NZ) Wins Oaks

An outstanding performance by Sentimental Miss (NZ) (Reliable Man) to claim the final leg of the NZB Filly of the Year Series, the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks. Photo: Trish Dunell
An outstanding performance by Sentimental Miss (NZ) (Reliable Man) to claim the final leg of the NZB Filly of the Year Series, the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks. Photo: Trish Dunell

Saturday’s $400,000 Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand Oaks at Trentham was the 10th and final leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, and it was expected to be a tie-breaker, but Sentimental Miss (NZ) (Reliable Man) had other ideas.

Imelda Mary (NZ) (Ferlax) and Queen of Diamonds (NZ) (Savabeel) had been strong performers through the Series, and going into the Oaks they shared the lead with 18 points each. But neither of them could add to that total with a top-three finish at Trentham.

Instead the Oaks was taken out by Sentimental Miss, who had 4 points to her name courtesy of a placing in the Group 2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic earlier in the season. With an outstanding performance in the Oaks, she moved up to 16 points and a third-place finish on the table.

Ridden by Lisa Allpress, Sentimental Miss sat just behind the leaders as the early part of the race was run at an energy-sapping pace.

When others began to tire approaching the home turn, Sentimental Miss quickened and sailed through a gap towards the inside. She was challenged by Beyond The Fort (NZ) (Niagara) and Star Karen (Camelot), but Sentimental Miss kept finding and kicked away from the other pair to win by a length and a quarter.

Sentimental Miss had shown ability throughout the season, winning a maiden race at Otaki, placing behind subsequent Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Crown Prosecutor (Medaglia d’Oro) in the Group 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m), and placing in the Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic.

But she was going into Saturday’s Oaks on the back of a disappointing ninth in the final lead-up, the Group 2 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m).

“It’s a fantastic result,” trainer Lisa Latta said. “We walked away from the Lowland thinking, ‘Should we press on to the Oaks?’

“We decided to try putting blinkers on today, and it’s made a huge difference. When she came through on the inside around the turn, I thought she was going well and she could run third or fourth and it would be a great performance. But she kept finding. She’s bred to stay and it was a fantastic performance today.”

Sentimental Miss was a $40,000 purchase from The Oaks Stud’s draft at the 2017 Select Sale at Karaka. Raced by a Go Racing syndicate, she has now had 11 starts for two wins, four placings and $273,625 in prizemoney.

“Group 1 races are the ultimate, the top level, this is what we do it for,” Go Racing manager Albert Bosma said. “This was actually the last horse we syndicated last year, it took us ages to get her fully syndicated. This is a great result for a wonderful group of owners.”

Vendor The Oaks Stud
Purchaser Go Racing (Auckland)
Breeding Reliable Man – Nostalgic
Sale Lot 901, 2017 Select Sale, $40,000
Bred by The Oaks Stud

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