Special Harmony Completes Group I Double

Special Harmony completed the group I double for spring fillies with an easy victory in the 143rd Victoria Oaks (Aust-I) at Flemington Nov. 5.

The daughter of Spinning Hill ran an 11-8 favorite in the  $625,000 (Australian funds) classic, the only query her ability to stretch her speed to the Oaks distance of 2,500 meters.

In the end there was none to challenge the filly after Damien Oliver gave her the run of the race fifth at the rail of the 13.

Yet there were tense moments as Dane Belltar's rider Dan Nikolic tried to pocket the favorite in mid-stretch.

Once in the clear, however, the 1,000 Guineas (Aust-I) winner raced away to win by 2-3/4 lengths from Dane Belltar (10-1). Timber Country filly Timborina (9-2) arrived just in time to take third, three-quarters of a length from the Danewin filly.

Timbourina had defeated Special Harmony in their final Oaks prep, the Wakeful Stakes (Aust-II), but on Nov. 1 received 4kg under the conditions of the 2,000 meters event.

Special Harmony provided Lee Freedman with his 97th group I win. It was the third win in this race for the pair. Oliver also won the previous Saturday's Victoria Derby (Aust-I) on Elvstroem.

Freedman is the trainer of Mummify, a co-favorite with Mamool for the Melbourne Cup (Aus-I), when dramatically scratched on race morning.

The 16th winner of the grand double -- the Guineas first run in 1946 -- has now ammassed $1,072,600 with five wins from 10 starts. She advances to the fall races as the leading 3-year-old filly in the land.

Special Harmony is the fourth foal of Marooned Lady, a group winner by English stayer by Marooned, winner of a Sydney Cup (Aust-I). She cost $95,000 as a yearling.

The 2:39.04 is more than four seconds outside the 30-year-old record. Grandly, by Grand Lodge, was brave in fourth and Generous daughter, Generosa, made up a lot of ground for fifth after being last into the stretch.