Odds-on favourite Montefilia gave her all but was unable to complete a hat trick of Group 1 wins in Thursday’s VRC Oaks at Flemington.
Montefilia won the Flight Stakes and Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney before Rosehill trainer David Payne sent the daughter of Kermadec south for Flemington’s $1 million event.
Montefilia rolled forward to settle in fourth spot while the leaders rolled along at a solid speed for the first 1800m, which proved too much for one of the on-pacers Vilanculos.
Vilanculos tired quickly, forcing Bowman to ease his mount four-wide at the 600m but Montefilia was still under a hold on the home turn.
Montefilia showed plenty of fight under pressure in the straight but she was unable to shake off the plucky Salto Angel before fading in the last 100m to finish third, 2½ lengths from the winner.
“I think the trip found her out to be honest,” Montefilia’s jockey Hugh Bowman said.
Hugh Bowman returns to scale after riding Montefilia into third place in the VRC Oaks. Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images for the VRCSource:Getty Images
To put Montefilia’s effort into context, the three runners that settled ahead of her – Biarchi, Vilanculos and Tyche Goddess – were beaten a long way with Vilanculos failing to complete the course.
Vilanculos’ trainer Danny O’Brien said the filly raced like a tired horse.
She was up on speed but she shortened up a bit early in the straight so I suspect she’s hit the end of her preparation,” O’Brien said.
“We’ll see how she is in the morning but I would suggest she’s going for a spell.”
Originally published asFavourite falls short in Oaks
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