AUSTRALIA: Quintessential crowned in Queensland Oaks
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By AAP Racing/ Glenn Davis
The Mick Kent-trained Vittoria finished third.
Quintessential’s win was the first Group 1 in Australia for Sargent who has won six times at the elite level in his homeland.
Sargent, who is a runaway leader to win his first New Zealand trainers’ title this season, wants to open a satellite stable in Sydney to stem the flow of horses leaving his stable for greater prizemoney in Australia.
“What a great way to kick off the new stable when it does get underway,” Sargent said. “A win like this is just what we need to get new owners.”
Sargent admitted he had serious concerns whether Quintessential would handle the heavy conditions.
“I didn’t think she would handle it,” he added. “She finished third in the Lowland Stakes back home but it was a bog that day.”
Sargent also praised Browne for a skilful ride.
“It was a perfect ride. He got off the fence at the 600 metres and everything paid off,” he said.
“It was a real slog. It’s hard to win any race in Australia let alone a Group 1.
“I noticed all day they weren’t coming from behind so I told Damian to have her handier if possible.”
Sargent is yet to decide if Quintessential will back-up in next week’s Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
“I’ll see how she comes through the Oaks first,” he said.
“It’s very tempting but I’ll play it by ear.”
Since the Queensland Derby was moved to the winter in 1973, only four fillies have gone on to complete the double.
Analie was the first to accomplish the feat in 1973, followed by Bravery (1988), Royal Magic (1992) and Riva San in 2008.
Browne’s victory on Quintessential was his second Group 1 in Queensland and the fifth overall in his career.
Quintessential produced an eye-catching Queensland Oaks trial when fourth to Invest in the Group 3 The Roses at Doomben a fortnight ago.
“I was very confident she could win after she draw barrier one but I admit I lost a bit of confidence when the heavens opened up,” Browne said.
“She had a good run right throughout the race. I wanted to hold my spot up close on the turn out of the straight and things worked well from there on.
“I’ve been based here for ten years and this is a real thrill. I won my first Group 1 in Queensland on Albert The Fat (BTC Cup) a few years ago.”
View the original article at the Racing Post