Staying filly Savigne has boosted her chances of sneaking into the Queensland Oaks field after beating older horses at Canterbury.
Needing a win to improve her precarious place in the ballot order for an Oaks start, Savigne, a daughter of Ocean Park, overcame difficulties to claim the Canterbury League Club Handicap.
The three-year-old settled in an ideal midfield position off a genuine tempo but there was a moment of concern for her jockey Kerrin McEvoy approaching the straight.
Savigne, the $3.50 favourite, was held up between runners and McEvoy had to wait until the 150m before his mount gathered full momentum.
When the run presented, Savigne picked up the leaders with a minimum of effort and she raced clear to beat her Chris Waller-trained stablemate Lady Cuvee by 1-3/4 lengths.
“There were a few decisions to be made from the 600 (metres) onwards … and there was a little bit of bumping around the corner,” McEvoy said.
“Luckily we got through and after copping that little bit of a bump she regained her composure and balance and she was really powering that last furlong (200m).”
Savigne firmed to $15 for the $500,000 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben on Saturday week.
As her prize money now stands shy of $70,000 after breaking through for the first time in eight attempts, stable spokesman Charlie Duckworth said the win was a timely one.
“She obviously saw out the journey well and I guess it is all helpful prize money if you are still trying to get towards an Oaks,” he said.
“It’s a good stepping stone but obviously she’ll still need to improve a little bit.”
Savigne is bred to be a Group One filly as a half-sister to Kermadec, a top-flight miler Waller trained for the same connections.
Like Kermadec, Savigne was bred by Wentwood Grange and was sold by the Hawkins family’s operation at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale for $200,000 to the bid of Guy Mulcaster.
In a 17-start career before retiring to join Darley’s stallion roster, Kermadec won twice at the highest level with the best of those victories coming in the 2015 Doncaster Mile.
Waller earlier brought up his 200th NSW winner for the season when Maddi Rocks won the Australian Turf Club Handicap. – NZ Racing News