Emerging star Amokura has claimed the Group 1 Queensland Oaks in just her first racing preparation.
The daughter of Kermadec was having her sixth race start, having won her previous two outings by 9 lengths and 2 lengths respectively.
The three-year-old was Kris Lees’ sixteenth Group 1 winner and his first since In Her Time in 2019, scoring comfortably by 1-1/2 lengths in the feature event.
The Newcastle conditioner said he was cautious of how far he would push his newest Group 1 winner.
“She’s always showed us something,” he said.
“It’s her first race preparation, so we were always guarded with how far we could go with her, but she put the writing on the wall with her win at Newcastle by a big margin, so we brought her up with the view of trying to sneak her in with a bit of prize money.
“She did that at the Sunshine Coast and snuck into the race. Got Olli (Damien Oliver) to come up and ride and the rest is history.”
After being slowly away from the draw after a delayed start, champion jockey Damien Oliver was set a task after settling worse than midfield in running.
The filly was able to slide along the inside rail around the home turn and make her run scraping the paint at the top of the straight, before switching off heels and storming over the top of her rivals.
She proved too good for the 100-1 outsider and claimed a comfortable victory.
Oliver only had two rides today, and admitted it took some convincing for him to take the ride aboard the up-and-coming stayer.
“I’m really happy that Kris Lees talked me into coming up for this one. She’s a lovely filly,” he said.
“The pace was really good, so we settled in the back of the field. I just got a beautiful run through and fortunately I was on one good enough to take me through the gaps when they were opening.
“She’s not only got a good turn-of-foot, she stays well too. When the race is run at that sort of tempo, for a filly that runs a strong distance, that helps.
“She’s in her three-year-old year and going to have to make the transition to (racing against) older horses, but she’s got a lot ahead of her having so few starts.”
The Richard Laming-trained Reo finished second while Noah ‘N’ A Deel ran into third position.
Race favourite Renaissance Woman finished in fourth position, 3-3/4 lengths adrift.
– RAS NewsWire