John Sargent-trained Kirramosa is the new favourite for the Group 1 2013 Crown Oaks (2500m) after she stormed from the back of the field to win the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington this afternoon.
Jockey Tommy Berry took the Alamosa filly straight to the back of the field and rode her very patiently as Star Fashion set a very honest tempo in the early stages of the race.
Star Fashion kicked clear when the field came around the final straight, giving the backmarkers something to chase, and favourite May’s Dream and Ethereal Stakes winner Arabian Gold loomed on the outside but they were swamped by Kirramosa who raced clear to record a most impressive victory.
Trainer John Sargent admitted that his original plan was to send Kirramosa straight to the Crown Oaks at Flemington on Thursday but decided to give the filly a final lead-up run in the Wakeful Stakes to take some of the edge off her.
“We were going to go straight into it (the Crown Oaks) but at the end of last week she was just jumping out of her skin and was probably too well.
“You can’t go into the Oaks without having the distance so we changed our tact and it worked today.”
Kirramosa has shown plenty of improvement this preparation, progressing from a fourth place finish in a handicap at Canterbury to a victory at Group 2 level on Victoria Derby Day, and Sargent is confident that she will continue to improve when she steps up to 2500 metres in the Crown Oaks next week.
“She has always shown her ability, she won her first start in New Zealand, and her second start was fourth in a Group 1,” Sargent said.
“She has always had that class and she has learnt to relax since she has been at Randwick.
“On that run she will just be ideal for Thursday.”
Berry, who was celebrating his first ever winner on Victoria Derby Day, was extremely impressed with the performance of Kirramosa and admitted that he is disappointed not to be riding her in the Crown Oaks; with leading jockey Nash Rawiller already booked for the ride.
“We had a bad gate but the idea was always to go back,” Berry said after the race.
“They didn’t go that quick early but they picked it up and she was able to reel off some pretty quick sectionals late.
“I would love to be on her in the Oaks but I think that Nash is already booked.
“Just to have a ride along the way and win on one of the big four days is just a massive thrill for me.
“It is something I wanted to do this season and to do it on the first day is great.”
Kirramosa will join Brazilian Pulse (2010), Faint Perfume (2009), Serenade Rose (2005), Hollow Bullet (2004) and Special Harmony (2004) as fillies that have completed the Wakeful Stakes/Crown Oaks double if she is successful at Flemington next Thursday.