A late decision to run Royal Descent in the Group 1 $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick today paid huge dividends with the filly scoring a runaway victory in the three year old Classic.
Winning trainer Chris Waller was ready to send Royal Descent to the spelling paddock prior to her last start, but after producing a first class performance in winning the Group 3 $125,000 Tabcorp Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last week, had second thoughts.
After conferring with owner Gerry Harvey, Royal Descent was declared an Oaks contender and repaid connections with a ten lengths demolition of the 2013 Oaks field.
“We were deciding if we were going to run, she was going to the paddock,” Waller said.
“The instructions really to Nash were if she wasn’t going to be in a winning position don’t knock her about. She’s a really good horse and she’ll be there for next year. But she has shown it, she has done it this year.”
“I knew we had a very good horse some time ago, but as you do with horses you can lose your way. We had a plan to win the Vinery three weeks ago but we didn’t get to the Vinery.”
Rawiller was happy to sit back in the second half of the field and elected to stick to the fence on the home turn when the rest of the field was scouting wide and within a hundred metres Rawiller and Royal Descent had the Oaks in their keeping.
Rawiller was lost for words how easy the Redoute’s Choice filly was able to win and is certain she has a great future ahead.
“I’m a bit lost for words, you know,” Rawiller said.
“Chris has known for a long time that we had something pretty special and I thought the other day it was a momentous effort and it was worth having a crack at this race.”
“She’s gone beyond all expectations today.”
“I had a peek at the two fifty and I was home and I’m still blown away by it. It’s just so exciting.”
Royal Descent ($4.40) scored officially by ten lengths over Dear Demi ($7.50) who made up some ground from a long way back with Gondokoro ($18) another two lengths away in third spot.
New Zealand filly Habibi ($3.70 favourite) was always in the second half of the field and plugged away in the straight to fill fourth place.