Once Were Wild Wins 2010 AJC Australian Oaks

April 19th, 2010

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Once Were Wild outclassed her rivals in the $350,000 Group 1 Patinack Farm AJC Oaks (2400m) when she claimed an upset win securing her maiden Group 1 victory ahead of the hot pre-race favourite Faint Perfume.

Once Were Wild ($9) coasted to a surprisingly impressive three and a half length win ahead of Bart Cumming’s talented Vinery Stud Stakes winner Faint Perfume ($2.30), who did well to come from second-last to chase down the field and finish runner-up, with the John Thompson-trained Run For Naara ($12) a further five lengths further back in a distant third.

The filly fighting for favouritism in the AJC Oaks betting markets all week with Faint Perfume was the Tony Vasil-trained Valdemoro ($3.60), who failed to fire on the day finishing a well-beaten eighth after settling at the back of the field and not improving pace on the straight.

Ridden expertly by Nash Rawiller, Once Were Wild took to the front early, but then eased back to settle in a mid-field position allowing Slapstick to take the lead.

Then at the top of the straight, the eventual winner charged to the front once again, surging forward and maintaining her dominance for the imposing win.

Inside the 300m Once Were Wild ran beautifully as Faint Perfume gave chase, proving her skill winning at Group 1 level in her first preparation.

Once Were Wild’s jockey Nash Rawiller also enjoyed success in the feature race at the meeting on Saturday when he claimed victory in the $1.5 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) aboard Rangirangdoo.

Rawiller and Waterhouse had endured a tumultuous week in and out of court as Waterhouse fought for the right to have her stable jockey ride Theseo in the Doncaster, even though he had legally been engaged to ride the Chris Waller-trained Rangirangdoo.

Despite Waterhouse losing the hearing, all was made well again in the AJC Oaks as the jockey – trainer duo put everything aside to celebrate Once Were Wild’s magic win, which was Waterhouse’s third AJC Oaks victory after her previous success with Coco Cabana (2000) and Sunday Joy (2003).

Johannesburg filly Once Were Wild, purchased for just $55,000 as a yearling, is enjoying a promising start to her career now having won six of her eight career starts for over $330,000 in prizemoney in her first campaign.

Waterhouse also trained her new star filly’s dam, Wildesong.

Aside from the AJC Oaks and Doncaster Mile, the third Group 1 race at Randwick on Saturday, the $300,000 The James Boag Galaxy (1100m) was won by classy mare Ortensia, while Star Of Octagonal won the $125,000 Group 3 South Pacific Classic (1400m).

2010 AJC Australian Oaks Results:

Position

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1
ONCE WERE WILD
Nash Rawiller Gai Waterhouse
2
FAINT PERFUME
Michael Rodd Bart Cummings
3
RUN FOR NAARA
Hugh Bowman John P Thompson
4
ABSOLUTE FAITH
Brad Rawiller John McArdle
5
SPEEDY NATALIE
Luke Nolen Peter G Moody
6
SLAPSTICK
Damien Oliver Guy Walter
7
MIRRASALO
Tommy Berry Gary Portelli
8
VALDEMORO
Blake Shinn Tony Vasil
9
CEVICHE
Joshua Parr Guy Walter
10
LITTLE SURFER GIRL
Dwayne Dunn Chris Waller
11
SMART LADY
Tim Clark David Payne
SCRATCHED:
OCEAN DREAM