Autumn Angel proves the superior stayer in Australian Oaks win

Autumn Angel
Autumn Angel winning the Group 1 Australian Oaks. Photo: RacingNSW

Peter Moody & Katherine Coleman have claimed their second win in three races at Randwick on the second day of The Championships, with Autumn Angel (+550) getting the better of the two favourites, Zardozi (+500) and Orchestral (-153.85), in the concluding stages of the Group 1 Australian Oaks.

After going down in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes when carrying a massive weight last Saturday, the daughter of The Autumn Sun dropped 5kg in weight and with Mark Zahra giving her a peach of ride, she proved too strong at the end of 2400m.

Zahra allowed his filly to jump and settle towards the rear of the field before picking his way through the field to eventually burst through a gap between the favourites to storm clear late.

Both Orchestral and Zardozi were good without winning; however, it appears as though the New Zealand-trained filly has come to the end of her very impressive preparation which included Group 1 victories on either side of the Tasman.

2024 Australian Oaks Replay – Autumn Angel

Following the win in the Oaks, Peter Moody was on course to speak post-race.

“The way she has thrived this week coming off the back-up, I was really taken back that so much so when Mark (Zahra) got on her I was worried that I might not have done enough with her this week, but she has thrived all week and a big special thanks to my team at home,” Moody said.

“Big special thanks to Anthony Cummings and his team who look after us and house us here at Randwick as well.

“The Randwick track staff, what a phenomenal job they have done over the last couple of weeks under trying circumstances.

“Last Saturday was phenomenal and to back it up with this track today, congratulations to Michael Wood and his team. A phenomenal effort.

“This is great for Wylie (Dalziel) and the ownership group who have backed me when I withdrew her from the VRC Oaks when she was probably the favourite to wait for this one .

“It is great to be rewarded and nice to get one right once in-a-row.”

Mark Zahra claimed his first winner of The Championships in the Australian Oaks, and he spoke post-race.

“I wanted to be behind Orchestral or at least Basilinna but the line I was in was the 200-1 pop but to be in that spot I would have had to restrict her the whole way and It thought I’m going to have to pich two lengths and worry about the 600 (metre mark) when it comes up and fight her the whole way,” Zahra said of his tactics on the winner.

“I knew I’d be going good the whole way and I was able to ease back, get in the clear and it was a great feeling the three of us coming together – great for the sport – and I was the strongest.

“I’ve never heard Moods so upbeat about a horse.

“Races like the Queensland Oaks and Caulfield Cup would definitely be on the radar for her, I would have thought.”

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