We have a new favourite in the 2021 VRC Oaks betting after Danny O’Brien’s filly Kapalua Sunset won her maiden at Kyneton on Tuesday by seven lengths.
The daughter of Tavistock started as a $1.40 elect under Brett Prebble in the 1875m Maiden and lived up to expectations, putting the field to the sword and racing away to win comfortably against a below-average field.
“It was a pretty easy watch,” O’Brien’s stable representative Andrew Edwards said on Racing.com.
“Brett gave her a nice ride, just kept her in a nice rhythm and she put them away quite easily.”
The dominant victory saw Kapalua Sunset put right into Oaks contention, with Sportsbet slashing her quote from $21 into $8 favouritism for the 2500m Group 1 on November 4.
“Being a Tavistock filly, a three-year-old, you’ve got to think there’s possibly an Oaks in her; whether it be this prep or next, we’ll just wait and see,” Edwards said.
“Going on that, that’s the path we’ll look to take.
“The sky’s the limit for her. She’s only a light filly, but I suppose the only concern with her being so light is she could hold up to that big long prep, but the way they’re going these days, they don’t have to have a long prep to get out to a Derby or an Oaks trip.”
While Kapalua Sunset had been accepted to run in Wednesday’s Oaks Trial at Flemington, she was instead sent to Kyneton on Tuesday for an easy kill.
“We probably decided to come here and give her another good experience and tick that maiden off,” O’Brien said.
— Racing.com (@Racing) September 21, 2021
After the filly wanted to over-race slightly, Prebble allowed her to slide up on the outside and take over the lead with 600m to go before shooting away at the 400m mark.
“She’s way better than that sort of class, but it’s a nice stepping-stone,” the jockey said.
“She dropped the head nice and early, she was going to be a bit competitive and I asked her to come back and she switched off lovely.
“They were just dropping like flies basically, she just outstayed them.
“She’s a smart filly going the right places, which she’s going towards the Oaks.
“She gave me that feel last time when I rode her and she’s obviously taken natural progression from her last start.”
Prebble put her eagerness down to being “a competitive horse”, which was no different to how she raced on debut, so going forward is no issue to the Melbourne Cup-winning jockey.
“If she ever does draw a barrier, I’m not going to take away that gate speed,” he said.
“I love good gate speed from a horse; I think it’s a benefit.
“She’s got a good head and she’s got a good staying frame, good set of lungs, she wouldn’t have even blown, she’s hardly even turned a hair.”