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Matamata filly becomes new Victoria Oaks favourite

November 4, 2013

John Sargent’s star Alamosa filly Kirramosa yesterday burst into contention for Thursday’s A$1 million Victoria Oaks, coming from stone last on the turn to defeat a quality field in the A$300,000 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

Ridden cold to instruction by Tommy Berry, Kirramosa unwound with a withering sprint down the outside in her first test past 1600m, suggesting she would have no problem with the step up to 2500m on Thursday.

It was a big result for not only Wellfield Lodge stallion Alamosa, who now has a leading Classic contender so soon with his first crop of three-year-olds, but also Matamata’s Sargent as he looks to solidify his standing as a trainer in Australia.

Kirramosa began her career at Sargent’s Matamata stable, winning at Matamata on debut in March for Michael Walker before finishing fourth in the Gr I Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes at Awapuni under Kelly Myers.

Sargent transferred her to his Sydney stable after a slashing trials run at Te Teko in August and she has since won at Newcastle, finished fourth in the Listed Reg Allen Stakes at Rosehill and finished second in a three-year-old 1600m race at Randwick before yesterday’s win.

“She’s always shown she’s had the ability. She won her first start in New Zealand and her second start was a fourth in a Gr I,” Sargent said.

“She’s got that bit of class and she can relax. She should be ideal for Thursday.”

Australia’s TAB Sportsbet immediately shortened Kirramosa into $3.40 favouritism for the Oaks, ahead of Zanbagh at $4.50 and May’s Dream at $5.

Sargent said Kirramosa had always indicated she would develop into a staying filly.

He had long harboured Victoria Oaks aspirations for her but only opted for the Wakeful Stakes as a leadup after she was so full of herself at home last week.

“I wasn’t originally running in this. I was going straight to the Oaks but she showed at the end of last week – she was bucking and kicking – that she was a bit fresh to be going straight from 1600m to 2500m,” Sargent said.

“She was just too well. We opted to come to this and she’s done us proud. As long as she comes through this well, it should be all go for Thursday.”

Sargent has booked leading Sydney rider Nash Rawiller for the Oaks but he was unable to make the 54kg she carried yesterday so he booked Tommy Berry and told him to ride her cold.

“We wanted to ride her cold with the Oaks on Thursday, perhaps not that cold, but she’s finished it really strongly,” Sargent said.

“She’s a really laid-back filly and she holds herself well. She’s so relaxed in her work. We put the hood on to make her concentrate a bit. She tends to go through a flat patch in her races and it’s cost her a couple of wins, but with the hood on now, she concentrates and really goes to the line.”

Sargent owns a quarter share in Kirramosa himself, with Wellfield Lodge’s Bill and Mark Gleeson, Peter Didham and Joseph McNeill sharing a quarter and John and Glenda Reily sharing the other half.

Sargent was the only owner track yesterday but said other owners were flying over for the Oaks.

The Wakeful win only served to underline Alamosa’s stud potential, while Sargent hoped it would lead to attracting new Australian owners to his stable.

“If you want to get the stable full, you need to get big results on big days like today to get horses, so hopefully this will help the stable over here,” he said.

“It’s great for Alamosa – leading first-season sire in New Zealand and now the sire of a Gr II winner in Australia.”

Story from Stuff.co.nz