Hugh Bowman’s incredible day at Royal Randwick has continued in the afternoon’s first Group 1 feature race as kiwi raider Sofia Rosa produced an impressive turn of foot in the final straight to win the Australian Oaks (2400m).
Sofia Rosa heralded the greatest market share of bets for success in the Australian Oaks in the days leading up to jump, and the filly did her chances no harm when jumping well and settling into a good rhythm early.
Having found a good position in transit as Self Esteem, Valley Girl and Honesta set the pace, Bowman pulled Sofia Rosa into the clear rounding onto the final straight and allowed the filly time to balance before mounting the final straight assault.
Immediately responding, the daughter of Makfi kicked clear of her rivals and maintained a strong sprint to the line; finish a length ahead of Ambience and Believe.
Bowman has been the difference in success for a number of horses at Randwick this afternoon and was thrilled to deliver prominent owner Lib Petagna a win in the Australian Oaks.
“Not everything went to plan for this filly,” Bowman said.
“She’s just so temperamental, went out onto the track early and just hasn’t given me a minute’s peace since I’ve been on her.
“She’s got some fight and I’m just so happy for Lib the owner because I cost him an Oaks here a couple of year ago on Lucia Valentina, and to repay him on this filly means more to me than everything.”
Sofia Rosa lost the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) on protest in March, and trainer Stephen Marsh was thrilled the horse was able to atone in the Australian Oaks.
“I’m very proud of her,” Marsh said.
“(in Spring) She looked like a hairy little foal and she’s now developed into what looks like a nice two-year-old now.
“She’s going to be better again as a four-year-old mare. She’s very difficult, and as you saw today Hugh said she’s probably one of the more difficult horses he’s ever ridden.”
Marsh revealed the mare will return to Australia in spring from a potential tilt at the 2016 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
“We’ll spell her, she’ll have a good spell and develop a bit more and then we’ll go to Melbourne in spring,” Marsh said.
“We’ve always looked at her as a potential Caulfield Cup style of horse.”
In being crowned the Australian Oaks winner, Sofia Rosa has extended her career record to five wins and two minors through only ten starts.