Colette powers to Australian Oaks victory
Trainer James Cummings has joined his father and grandfather on the ATC Australian Oaks honour roll with filly Colette scoring a dominant win at Randwick.
The Godolphin-owned Colette capped a stunning autumn rise when she raced to a 2-1/2-length success in Saturday’s 2400m staying feature for three-year-old fillies.
Cummings’ late grandfather Bart trained seven winners of the Oaks while his father Anthony has won the race in 1998 with On Air.
Colette is a daughter of stallion Hallowed Crown, the horse who delivered James Cummings his first Group One win in the 2014 Golden Rose when he was training in partnership with his famous grandfather.
“We won the Golden Rose together and he (Hallowed Crown) came back to win the Randwick Guineas,” Cummings said.
“I’m only still young and hopefully I’ve got a few Group Ones left in me.
“But she is the first Group One winner I’ve trained by a Group One winner I’ve trained, so it’s pretty special.”
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Colette had been pegged as an Oaks prospect a long way out and delivered on a plan after coming through two impressive wins at the provincials before storming into favouritism with a dominant Adrian Knox Stakes victory last Saturday.
Backing up seven days later and with champion jockey Glen Boss jumping aboard, Colette was always in a position to strike and took over early in the home straight before striding away.
Colette, the $3 favourite, defeated Toffee Tongue with Quintessa another three lengths away third.
It was the same trifecta as the Adrian Knox.
“She’s a beauty,” Cummings said.
“She did her early education at Crown Lodge, she went down to Flemington and Reg (Fleming) and I discussed her being a potential Oaks filly. I said yes, she is one of two fillies I’ve got in the Oaks.
“We brought her back up to Sydney to get her up to speed for the Adrian Knox, it was what we thought would be the best entry for her into the Oaks.
“It is particularly satisfying given the plan had to unfold perfectly over a long period of time.
“It was sweet, not only to see her win but she’s turned up favourite on the day because she’s in such good form.”
Boss claimed his fourth ATC Australian Oaks having won his first in 1997 on the Bart Cummings-trained Danendri.
He also won on Republic Lass (2002) and Serenade Rose (2006) and said Colette turned up in amazing condition.
“She’s not big but she doesn’t ride like a little horse,” Boss said.
“She’s got a big action and she was able to put herself in the right spot.
“…that was pretty simple. It was relatively easy, a bit of point and shoot stuff really.”
Toffee Tongue is still chasing her first win but trainer Chris Waller was proud of her Oaks performance.
“Toffee Tongue ran really well but all credit to the winner,” Waller said.
“I do think Toffee Tongue is a bright staying prospect for the future.”