$120,000 Karaka Book 1 purchase Miami Bound (NZ) (Reliable Man) blew her rivals off the track at Flemington on Thursday, romping to victory by more than three lengths in the A$1 million Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m).
A narrow winner of the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) five days earlier, Miami Bound went to a new level in the Oaks and completely outclassed her opposition.
“I’m thrilled for this filly – she’s a horse we’ve always had really high hopes for,” trainer Danny O’Brien said.
“We’ve been really looking forward to this day, and it’s come off. We’d been waiting to run her at 2500 metres from the day that we got her.”
Ridden by Damien Oliver, Miami Bound’s superior stamina shone through as she hit the lead 300 metres from the finish and powered clear to win by three and a quarter lengths.
“We knew once we took the wrapping off her at the 2500, she was really going to let go,” O’Brien said. “I knew that when he (Oliver) let the brakes off her today, she’d just charge. She’s got that motor, that stamina, to run a strong mile and a half, and she really showed that today.
“She’s got a bright future. It won't be her last decent win, and every time we run her at this type of distance, she's going to be very hard to beat.”
It was a fifth Oaks victory for Oliver, who deflected all praise on to his mount.
“It was a great effort – it wasn’t one of my prettiest rides,” the champion jockey said.
“I was a bit indecisive from the gates and got caught a little bit deep, but fortunately I was able to get a bit of cover off Vegas Jewel, which took us into the straight as far as it could. She was left there a fair way out, but she was the best stayer in the race and was just too good.
“Last start she was really strong, which gave me a lot of confidence coming into this race. She’s certainly just hitting form at the right time, and these fillies, when they do that, they’re hard to beat.”
With Thursday’s victory, Miami Bound followed in the footsteps of her dam Arapaho Miss (Danehill Dancer), who won the Oaks in 2007.
Miami Bound has now won four of her seven starts and A$887,750 in stakes – almost eight times her purchase price.
She was bred by Westbury Stud owner Gerry Harvey and was sold through Westbury’s draft.
Vendor Westbury Stud
Purchaser O’Brien Thoroughbreds (Victoria)
Breeding Reliable Man – Arapaho Miss
Sale Lot 34, Karaka 2018 Book 1, $120,000
Bred by G Harvey
Miami Bound (NZ) and Damien Oliver, picture Quentinjlang.com