|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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.