The Kris Lees trained filly Aliferous has earned herself a place in the 2019 Australian Oaks with an upset win in the Group 3 $200,000 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) on Day One of The Championships at Randwick today.
Aliferous was sent out as one of the outsider at $41 but with the aid of a rails run was too strong at the finish to down the $2.70 favourite Amangiri.
Third placegetter Maracaibo was also at the double figure odds of $21.
The Team Hawkes trained Amangiri was let slide to the front by Tommy Berry and the filly controlled the race with a well judged pace and looked comfortable when heads were turned for home.
Amangiri was attacked from all sides down the Randwick straight and held strong before Aliferous appeared on the scene in the final fifty metres.
Winning jockey Brenton Avdulla settled Aliferous in the second half of the field and stuck to the inside in the straight and the filly gradually built up her momentum to gain a surprise victory.
Lees said after the race that on that winning effort he would have to let Aliferous have her chance in the Group 1 $1m Heineken 3 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick next Saturday on Day Two of The Championships.
“It would be hard not to run (In the Austalian Oaks). We’ll give her every chance anyway,” Lees said.
“You don’t know where they come from this time of year. She was really good at Kembla off the track. It was a good conditioning run for a testing track today. She got through the ground. So there are a lot of positives.”
“Brenton did the right thing early getting her to relax. She was a little keen mid-race but she was always going to be strong late. When the runs appeared he really let down on this type of ground.”
Before her Adrian Knox win, Aliferous was marked at $67 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Australian Oaks but the Hinchinbrook filly is now a $15 chance.