Melbourne Cup winning trainer Danny O’Brien capped off a terrific week with Miami Bound scoring a decisive win in the 2019 Group 1 $1m Kennedy Oaks (2500m) at Flemington today.
O’Brien saddled up Vow And Declare to win the Group 1 $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday and today claimed his first Kennedy Oaks winning trophy
Miami Bound put the writing on the board with her win in last Saturday’s Group 2 $300,000 G.H. Mumm Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington and was sent out as one of the top picks in the Fillies’ Classic today.
Damien Oliver was aboard Miami Bound in the Wakeful Stakes and chalked up Group 1 win number 119 when the Reliable Man filly raced away to record a three and a quarter lengths win over John Ramsey trained Never Listen ($41).
Third placegetter Moonlight Maid ($4.80) made up plenty of ground from the to finish one length ahead of Beauty Bolt ($16).
Miami Bound was sent out as the second favourite at ($4.20) while the $3.80 favourite Gamay ran a brave race to finish fifth.
O’Brien was very confident that Miami Bound would handle the step up to the 2500m for the first time in the Kennedy Oaks after she was strong at the end of the 2000m of the Wakeful Stakes
“It was perfect. We’ve got a lot of faith in this filly and we’ve obviously been building her all Spring to get to 2500m,” O’Brien said.
“We knew once we took the wrapping off at the 2500m she was going to really let go, and he got on the back of the horse, even though he was three wide she was always going to have plenty to offer when we got into the straight.”
Oliver had trouble getting close to the fence from barrier seven in the fourteen horse Kennedy Oaks field but was still able to slot Miami Bound in behind Vegas Jewel for some cover.
“It was a great effort. It wasn’t one of my prettiest rides,’ Oliver said.
“I was a bit indecisive from the gate and caught a little bit deep, but fortunately I was able to get a bit of cover off the Kavanaugh horse which took us into the straight as far as it could. She was left there a fair way out but she was the best stayer in the race and she was too good.”