The VRC’s Oaks meeting on Thursday opened with a competition and international juvenile event with the Waterhouse and Bott trained Vinicunca under Wayne Lorden winning the $150,000, Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m).
Not only was it a Flemington win for Irishman Lorden, the filly is co-owned by world power houses Coolmore, the Nicarchos family’s Flaxman Stables and Australian Lindsay Maxsted. Coolmore and Flaxman quinellaed the race with another filly Art Collection (Fastnet Rock) with James McDonald up.
The $3.90 favourite Chicago Bull (Exceed And Excel) and Michael Walker were third with Shadwell Stud’s Fannar (NZ) fourth with Jim Crowley riding. Ryan Moore also rode in the race completing the international contingent, however his Coolmore runner Memphis Rock was seventh.
Vinicunca and Wayne Lorden hold out Art Collection and James McDonald, picture Quentinjlang.com
Vinicunca was very strong throughout the run on her race debut with Art Collection and McDonald making a continuous challenge racing inside them. The filly responded several times to Lorden’s urgings to keep going to the line and she kept up the task to win with a nose margin.
There was 1 1/4L between Art Collection and Chicago Bull with a further 3/4L back to Fanaar.
The field came up the stand side of the track with the time 58.63 on the Soft 5 rated track with the final 600m in 34.29. Vinicunca paid $5.00 on fixed odds and $5.20 on the tote.
“She is a beautifully bred filly, very talented and very exciting for us going forward. She paraded beautifully and showed that athleticism today and really a tough, fighting quality," said co-trainer Adrian Bott,
“She looked to get a little bit lost down the straight for the first time, she didn’t have the fence to follow but when she was challenged she dug deep.
“Either of those options (Blue Diamond or Golden Slipper) we will keep open. We will assess what happens after today. We might give her a short break now and come back for one of those big targets,” he said.
“Thanks to (Coolmore’s) Tom Magnier, he got me the ride on this filly. Mrs Waterhouse thought she was a very nice filly and whatever she does today, she will improve a lot," said Lorden.
“She travelled quite nicely. She just got a little but idle when she got there (to the front). She is a nice filly going forward," he said.
Lorden described the track as being on the "easy side of good, that’s what we would call it coming from Europe,"
He was fifth on Aidan O'Brien trained Rostropovich (IRE) in Tuesday's Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“I enjoyed it. I got a good trip around, finished fifth. I was very pleased with the horse,” he said.
Vinicunca is by I Am Invincible out of the Flying Spur mare Xandretta and she was a $600,000 yearling purchase. Thursday’s win delivered the vital two-year-old black type and a stake of $90,000.
Tom Magnier and Wayne Lorden, picture Quentinjlang.com
Maribyrnong Plate, photo finish picture Racing.com