The Flemington week wins for the Ellerton and Zahra stable continued on Oaks Day on Thursday when Linguist under Linda Meech trounced the field in the $120,000, Drinkwise Bm 70 Handicap (1700m) for fillies and mares.
Meech had the Helmet four-year-old mare leading the capacity 16 strong field from the barriers and they controlled the race throughout. At the 320m mark Meech let Linguist (57.5kg) go and they quickly took a controlling margin and they were not tested through to the line.
The margin was 2 3/4L with So Splendid (NZ) (58.5kg) (Savabeel) and Hugh Bowman coming from the rear for second with Winkleman (NZ) (58kg) (Rip Van Winkle) and Damien Lane third, the margin 3/4L.
The time was 1.42.69 on the Good 3 track with the final 600m in 34.40. Linguist paid $7.50 on fixed odds and $5.60 on the NSW tote.
Linguist and Linda Meech stride to the line, picture Quentinjlang.com
“Linda rode a terrific race. I said to her that she probably wouldn’t get it as easy as she got at Ballarat, but if anything she probably got it even easier. She got some easy sectionals, and the horse has got a great turn of foot when she’s left alone so it’s great to get the city win with her,” said Zahra.
“She’s taken a while to develop, she hasn’t been able to keep a lot of condition in the past but this campaign she’s kept her condition nicely and really improved with every race. She’s matured nicely and hopefully she goes onto bigger and better things.”
“We are known as summer trainers but we deliberately targeted the Spring Carnival this year, we are getting better at it and hopefully after today we have shown we can mix it with the best,” he said.
“It’s great, I do not get too many rides over the Spring Carnival, so it is terrific that Simon and Matty have stuck with me. The team at First Light have been a great pick-up from me, the horse is going super so kudos to them for leaving me on her,” said Meech.
“When I go out with her, they don’t tell me what to do because they know I know her so well, so that gives me room for manoeuvre. When she gets out, she gets into a lovely rhythm and she bounced out really well for me so I could leave everything up to the horse,” she said.
Linguist, out of the Encosta de Lago mare Vocabulary, was winning for the second time in succession after winning over 1600m at Ballarat.
Thursday’s win was the mare’s third and with three placings she has earned stakes of $140,115 for the her enthusiastic ownership group First Light Racing Pty Ltd, Merricks Station, Mr M D Amos, Mr A Webster, Mr G F Gleeson, Rangi Rang Boris, Mr J D Buckley, Mr C Gasparini, Ms R Gasparini, Mr D J Quinane, Mr M C Brady, Mr M D Schumann, Mrs J J Schumann, and the Wide Margin Syndicate.
On Tuesday, Melbourne Cup Day, Ellerton and Zahra had a winning double with Prezado winning the Schweppes Flemington Fling (1000m) and Odeon (NZ) winning the listed James Boag’s Premium Stakes (1800m).