Tough young jockey Harry Coffey produced a first class ride to score his first Group 1 win on Sopressa in the $500,000 Schweppes Oaks (Australasian Oaks) (2000m) at Morphettville today.
Coffey had the Darren Weir trained Sopressa ($6.50) quickly out of the barriers from the inside gate and settled the filly in fourth and fifth position on the fence just behind the leading division.
On the home turn Coffey was able to extricate Sopressa off the rails and move up outside of the leader and stablemate Think Bleue and the So You Think filly responded to his hard riding to grab a narrow victory.
The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained Sheezdashing ($16) ran on strong from the back for second as did third placegetter Miss Admiration ($26) who had to pass a vet’s examination at the barriers before being allowed to start.
Coffey has had to overcome the debilitating disease of Cystic Fibrosis and has come out a winner with long time family friend Darren Weir who has known the tough hoop since he was a child.
Coffey has kept a perfect score of three from three on Sopressa with today’s Australasian Oaks win after riding the filly to victory in her maiden win at Kyneton four starts back and her final Oaks lead up run in the Group 3 $120,000 Schweppervescence Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville a fortnight ago.
“I wanted this day so I would be able to deliver on the day with what I have been through,” Coffey said.
“I can remember as a little kid him (Weir) visiting me in hospital. It means a lot and my family will be so proud.”
Weir was very happy to be able to give Coffey his first Group 1 winner after he starting his own career through the association with the Coffey family.
“It is fantastic,” Weir said.
“I guess it is a dream come true for Harry and also for myself to be able to give Harry his first Group 1 winner.”
“The Coffey family have been unbelievable to me all throughout my career.”
The $5 favourite Savacool joined in at the top of the straight after racing handily but faded over the concluding stages to finish seventh.