Bulla Borghese, from Belong to Me's first southern generation, outstayed her rivals to win the $625,000 (Australian funds) Victoria Oaks (Aust-I) at Flemington today.
The 12-1 chance staged a minor upset in holding on by a half length from Lashed (9-2). George Hanlon, the octogenerian conditioner who supplied Melbourne Cup runner-up Mr. Prudent 48 hours earlier, had to be content with another minor placing with a longshot. Antique ran the race of her life at 25-1 to just hold out Fuji Dancer for third 1 3/4 lengths from Lashed.
The minor placegetters, are by local stallions Lashed by Encosta De Lago (by Fairy King) and Antique by deceased Kenmare horse Metal Storm.
Belong to Me is currently working his fourth Australian season at Widden Stud, the breeders of Saturday's Victoria Derby (Aust-I) winner Helenus. In the U.S., he stands at Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.
The Lane's End-owned Danzig horse had 90, 66, and 77 covers in his first three sorties. His first southern graded winner is Before Too Long, also a filly.
Bulla Borghese is the second foal of New unraced Zealand mare Fionnay, by Crested Wave. Agent David Lamond garnered her as a yearling for $45,000 at last year's Magic Millions. He was hunting for Ron Quinton, the Sydney trainer who rode the 1980 Victoria Oaks winner November Rain.
Chris Munce always had Bulla Borghese in the first four and she appeared the likely winner at the stretch entrance. With four wins from her 12 starts, Quinton's first Oaks runner has amassed $464,000 for 10 first-time owners.
Failure of the race was Macedon Lady, the 1,000 Guineas (Aust-I) winner falling short in the heat. The drifting 2-1 elect finished fifth after being ridden back from the outside gate of 14 runners.
At 2:36.31, the 2,500 meters classic for 3 year-old fillies was almost three seconds outside the race record, the race developing into a sprint home with soft fractions set by Hierogram.