Marju Snip Takes Australasian Oaks

Marju Snip, a daughter of a former shuttling son of Last Tycoon, collected the biggest southern success for her sire in taking the Australasian Oaks (Aust-I) at Morphettville April 29.

Raced by Sheikh Hamdan, Marju has been on the roster of his owner's farm, 20 miles from Dublin, since 1992. Track career highlights for Salsabil's half-brother was a win in the St James's Palace Stakes at a mile and second behind Generous in the English Derby (both Eng-I).

Marju Snip is his 16th graded winner and first in the southern hemisphere. His northern-breds are led by five-time group I winner Soviet Song.

In winning the $250,000 (Australian funds) classic, Marju Snip also provided the first group I success for her trainer, Phillip Stokes.He prepares her at Morphettville, in the Adelaide suburbs for himself and nine other owners after the filly was pinhooked at $100,000 (New Zealand funds) at a 2-year-olds in training sale.

Bred by Waikato Stud, the filly, Marju Snip, had left the Karaka ring the first time as a New Zealand premier yearling, signed for at $52,500 by Graeme Sanders. She has now won just over $250,000 and six races from eight starts.

On the way to the Oaks she finished third to males in the Adelaide Guineas (Aust-III) in her group debut.

Her second dam, Candide (by Sound Reason) won the New Zealand Oaks (NZ-I) and was third in the Australian Oaks and fourth in the Derbys of both countries.

Marju Snip is from the second of two generations in the south by Marju. He worked from Ra Ora, near Auckland, in 2000 and Collingrove in Victoria the following season. He fell victim to travel sickness in 2002, since remaining in Ireland.

Perfectly ridden by Steven Arnold, Marju Snip (6-1) came from seventh at the final bend to overhaul the leader, Zenarta (15-2), and win by a widening 1 1/4 lengths. The runner-up is by former Coolmore shuttler Orpen, on its Irish roster since 2000. She is from the second of his four southern crops.

Fanciful Bella, a filly by the veteran Mr. Prospector sire Bellotto, nabbed third a long neck farther away. The 2:04.41 was more than two seconds wide of the race mark.

Florica Danica (5-1), a maiden, but closest pursuer to Serenade Rose in the Victoria and Australian Oaks (both Aust-I), beat only two of the 16 fillies to the wire. The Lee Freedman-trained Brockman's Lass ran the 11-4 favorite but could manage only fifth.