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04/05/02 Tully Thunders to Oaks Win
1016tullythunder.jpg (14395 bytes)Melbourne filly Tully Thunder has graduated to Group One class by scoring a strong win in this afternoon's $251,200 Schweppes Australasian Oaks at Victoria Park in Adelaide.

After sitting in the middle of the field during the early and middle stages the filly was hooked to the centre of the track on straightening and she then shot to the front with 300 metres to run.

A challenge from the Stawell based outsider She's Archie was issued when that filly and last season's hot jockey of the carnival Peter Mertens ranged up on the outside of the field and looked as though she was going to cause a major upset.

The win gave Damien Oliver his second straight Oaks win in South Australia. He won the second of two Oaks races at last year's carnival on the Jack Denham trained filly Asia.

0311doliver.jpg (7993 bytes)For trainer Ross McDonald it was a welcome Group One win in the 2000 metre event.

"It's been a long time between Group Ones," McDonald's wife Margaret said from the winner's enclosure.

McDonald praised the ride from Damien Oliver and heaped praise on the filly for her powerhouse performance.

"She got a lovely run during the race," McDonald said. "But she's just a great trier."

"She's so professional and she just always wants to win," Mrs McDonald added.

The win was also a triumph for Melbourne based racehorse owner Peter White, who races a large team of horses in the McDonald stable. The duo were active buyers at the major yearling sales again earlier this year.

0421rossmcdonald.jpg (7727 bytes)Tully Thunder burst into Oaks connection when she scored just her second career win at Caulfield on Easter Monday. On that occasion the daughter of Thunder Gulch burst clear of Prosecution for a sizzling win.

Last start the filly was ridden close to the action and she ran a strong second to Clothilde in the Group Three Lakewood Stud Stakes at Morphettville a fortnight ago.

Today's Oaks triumph was Tully Thunder's second stakes race success in South Australia. During the early stages of last year's Cup Carnival the filly scored a strong win in the listed Oaklands Plate at Cheltenham Park.

PICS (Tully Thunder and Damien Oliver) - Quentin Lang.

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