Dizelle's Big Finish Takes Australian Oaks

Dizelle was the toast of Randwick and of the night session of the Australian Easter sale at nearby Newmarket after her incredible finish to win the 93rd Australian Oaks (Aust-I) March 30.

New Zealand Oaks (NZ-I) winner Justa Tad, renamed She's Just a Tad by Australian officials, appeared certain to repay them in kind by delivering a Kiwi victory. Close to the post the Istidaad daughter appeared a certain winner -- until Dizelle's paralyzing burst cut her down almost at the wire.

Such was the velocity of the winner's closing speed the margin was a surprising half-length. The 7-2 second elect and Corey Brown had only four of the 15 runners behind her into the final 300 meters and appeared a forlorn chance.

Dizelle's time for the 2,400 meters was 2:34.25, the slowest in a decade. The wet track delivered not only slow times, but discriminated against back markers, all of which adds to the luster of this remarkable win.

Zabeel sired last spring's W S Cox Plate (Aust-I) winning 3-year-old Savabeel. His first Randwick Oaks success is from Danelagh, one of Danehill's 36 individual Australian group I winners. From Cambridge Stud, where his sire Sir Tristram ruled for many years, Zabeel is undoubtedly Danehill's main southern rival.

Dizelle is Danehill's second Australian Oaks success as a damsire, the first Sunday Silence's Sunday Joy two years ago. He also sired the dam of Gilded Time colt Barely a Moment, winner of the 2004 VRC Sires' Produce Stakes. Danehill sired 1997 Oaks winner Danendri.

Danelagh won the 1998 Blue Diamond (Aust-I) and was bred by a group headed by Keith Biggs. She and Dizelle race for the blue and pink colors Doriemus represented when he won a Melbourne Cup (Aust-I), and came within a lip of adding another.

They withdrew Dizelle from the 2003 Australian Easter sale. She is Danelagh's second foal. The first, also by Zabeel, has won $1 million (Aust. funds) in Hong Kong as Vengeance Of Rain after bringing $300,000 as a yearling.

Corey Brown is the first rider in 15 years to collect the Australian Derby/Oaks double. He successfully partnered Eremein March 26. It was also the first Australian Oaks for trainer John Hawkes. The $431,460 Oaks purse for her fourth win in seven career starts advanced her earnings to $648,040.

She's Just a Tad (6-1) held second by three-quarters of a length from another New Zealand filly Gee That's Tops (40-1), by Danehill son Danasinga.

Hollow Bullet was a 5-2 favorite to become the third Victoria Oaks (Aust-I) winner to add the Australian Oaks in the past 20 years. The daughter of Tayasu Tsuyoshi battled away to finish fourth.