Last Thursday night at Angle Park SA owned, bred and trained sprinter Oakvale Beauty took out the 2019 Group 3 SA Oaks for Pinnaroo trainer Nathan Wilson replicating the feats of her mother Oakvale Destiny back in 2014.
Oakvale Beauty is owned by Nathan and his wife Kerri and is beautifully bred by Kinloch Brae and Oakvale Destiny and she had to stretch every fibre in her body to rail hard in the home straight to claim the $25,000 winner’s cheque by a nose. As the race started Kisses For Cloda which is also owned, bred and trained locally fired out of the boxes to lead for trainer Ben Rawlings who only just took over her training from local racing identity Ray Fewings.
Coorong Lucy for Cameron Butcher began well and positioned second while Miss Bellwood for leading Victorian trainer Jeff Britton moved forward nicely to third in the early stages. Oakvale Beauty settled midfield on the rails while race favourites Mepunga Maggie for Jeff Britton began fairly and was back in 4th with Submission bombing the start for Brad Keel and giving the field a huge head start and she was back with the notoriously slow beginning Dashing Mickey for Gavin Harris.
Into the back straight and Kisses For Cloda was moving stylishly in the lead while Oakvale Beauty made good ground to the inside of Coorong Lucy to move to second. Mepunga Maggie also made ground along the rails while Submission had made up many lengths from the rear. Turning for home and Kisses For Cloda was still going strong and rolled away from the rails allowing a run for Oakvale Beauty who was coming home strong.
Both Mepunga Maggie and Submission also ran home hard but was just out of reach of the leaders. As they hit the lone Oakvale Beauty stuck her nose out to win by that margin in one of the most exciting finishes to the Oaks in recent history. Oakvale Beauty ran a superb 29.58 for the 515m journey in winning by a nose from a gallant Kisses For Cloda while Mepunga Maggie was a length away in third just ahead of Submission.
The $25,000 first prize took Oakvale Beauty’s prizemoney to just over $50,000 and the impressive record of 9 wins and 8 placings from her 17 lifetime starts still having never missed a place.
Mepunga Pegasus wins 2019 SA Derby
The SA Derby final as always showcases some of the best young male chasers in the land with a hot field lining up for the Group 3 feature but it was the Jeff Britton trained Mepunga Pegasus that grew wings over the concluding stages to win the $25,000 first prize.
As the start was affected race favourite Curt Lee for Victorian trainer Glen Rounds fired out of the boxes as he did last week in the heats however Jasper The Jet for NSW trainer Terry Priest also began smartly on his inside and the two matched their motors to the first turn. Both Mepunga Pegasus and Weblec King for Matt Lanigan began nicely and sat just off the pace making full use of their inside draws while there was trouble back in the field.
Down the back straight and Curt Lee applied the pressure to Jasper The Jet which continued to hold the inside running while both Mepunga Pegasus and Weblec King began to charge home. Off the back straight and Curt Lee was able to run to the front however Mepunga Pegasus was quickly on the scene and raced up just prior to the home straight. As they charged to the line Mepunga Pegasus was doing a little bit the better and went on to win in a slick 29.52 from Curt Lee with Weblec King getting home well into third.
Mepunga Pegasus now boasts the impressive record of 12 starts for 5 wins and 3 placings and prizemoney past $42,000.