Ambience stamped herself as a legitimate 2015 Crown Oaks contender with an impressive victory in the 2015 Wakeful Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Ambience went to the top of Crown Oaks when she recorded a dominant victory in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 before she failed to fire in the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 17, but she returned to her best form with her impressive Wakeful Stakes win.
Jockey James McDonald was able to settle Ambience in a brilliant position in the early stages of the race and she showed an explosive turn-of-foot when he asked her for an extra effort at the 400 metre mark to run away from her rivals and score a very soft win from Beluga Blue and Muzyka.
McDonald said after the race that Ambience never handled the tight-turning Caulfield track in the Ethereal Stakes, but he said that she had no problems getting around Flemington in the Wakeful Stakes this afternoon and he is confident she will run out a strong 2500 metres in the Crown Oaks.
“She is a beautiful filly and she is now a Group 2 winner,” McDonald said.
“John and the team have done a wonderful job with her – she didn’t get around Caulfield very well and he was going to turn her out, but he thought he would give her the benefit of the doubt.
“Coming here today she did everything really well and she will stay a mile and a half, so I am looking forward to the Oaks.”
Trainer John O’Shea admitted he was disappointed with the performance of Ambience in the Ethereal Stakes, but he said throughout the week that he was confident she would bounce back to her best in the Wakeful Stakes.
The leading trainer admitted after the race that he was worried that Ambience would be blocked for a run at the top of the straight, but he was always confident that she would finish over the top of her rivals in the Wakeful Stakes once she found clear running.
“She has a lovely turn-of-foot for a staying filly,” O’Shea said.
“It just didn’t go right for her at Caulfield two weeks ago, but she had given indications at home that she had settled in nicely and got on her right leg.
“She showed a nice performance today – she never had a guide the other day, but today she had a lovely guide to put her to sleep.
“There were a few hair-raising moments at the turn when it looked like she wouldn’t get out, but once James came off their back we were confident that she would run a strong 2000.”
O’Shea refuse to confirm that Ambience would back-up in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on Thursday, but he gave every indication that she will head to the race and he believes that the daughter of Street Cry will be a genuine contender.
“She relaxes good and the decision to run her will probably be made in the next 48 hours,” O’Shea said.
“I would lean to running her.
“She has done very well at home and at this stage I wouldn’t see too many reasons not to.
“Her mother was very stout and she could get horses to run over a bit of ground.”
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