Living legend Bart Cummings won his eighth Victoria Oaks (Aust-I) when the Danehill filly Magical Miss strolled home a 4 1/2-length winner in the 141st edition at Flemington. Zabeel filly Manang nosed out Lil Lo Lill (by Umatilla) for second. The 2:34.7 time equalled the 28-year race record.
It hadn't been a big week for Cummings: Ustinov (Seeking the Gold -- Let's Elope) jarred up on the fiery first day track and was sore after finishing fourth in the Victoria Derby (Aust-I). The 72-year-old could not get a runner to the post in his attempt to improve on his record 11 Melbourne Cups (Aust-I). But it all gelled in the Oaks as the heavy favorite won easily under Stephen Arnold, giving Cummings his first win in the race in 10 years. That winner, Richfield Lady, also collected the 1,000 Guineas (Aust-I) along the way.
Magical Miss was part of an almost $3 million outlay by Perth property developer Bill Wyllie and his wife Rhonda at the 2000 Australian Easter yearling sale. To secure the filly at $520,000, Cummings left agent Tik Tik Trinadad as underbidder for Eduardo Cojuangco. The Gooree Stud owner races runner-up Manang.
The winner is related to Seeking the Pearl, the pioneering filly from Japan to collect the Prix Maurice de Gheest (Fr-I) at the 1998 Deauville August meeting.