Girl power was to the fore at Trentham on Saturday as Palmerston North trainer Lisa Latta and Whanganui jockey Lisa Allpress fittingly joined forces for $21 outsider Sentimental Miss to land the Group1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai NZ Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.
Running second was Beyond The Fort, trained by Waverley's Bill Thurlow while bred and raced by the former Whanganui district councillor Ray Stevens, who passed away three weeks ago.
Latta said the addition of blinkers was the key to extracting the best out of the daughter of Reliable Man, who is raced by the Go Racing Yesteryear Syndicate.
"It's absolutely fantastic," Latta said.
"We walked away from the Lowland [ninth over 2100m, Group 2] wondering whether we should press on or not, but we decided to put the blinkers on today and I think that has made a huge difference.
"When she came through on the inside I thought she'd do well if she could run third or fourth.
"But she is bred to stay and it's fantastic.
"She is a very easy filly and that's why putting the blinkers on today didn't really worry us."
The attractive grey filly made use of her inside draw (barrier 2), with Lisa Allpress finding a spot three-back on the fence.
"I was quite confident," Allpress said.
"We were just getting a lovely run, she was very relaxed and first time in blinkers.
"I was conscious of Murray Baker's horses [Rubira and Queen Of Diamonds] in front of me and they started dragging me into the run but they were under the bat.
"I thought I need to be a bit more patient but when it got to the top of the straight patience went out the window but she just kept fighting."
The win was the sixth at Group One level for Allpress and provided another elite level success for Albert Bosma's Go Racing syndications.
"It's a great training performance," Bosma said.
"She is such a laid-back filly that we had no doubt about the ground and that she'd stay.
"It's funny, she was the last horse we syndicated in her year.
"It took us ages to get her done and now it's a great result. She's a very good staying filly and there is lots more in front of her.
"It is the ultimate, it's the top level and this is what we do it for."
A $40,000 graduate of The Oaks Stud's draft at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale, Sentimental Miss becomes the first Group One winner for young Westbury Stud sire Reliable Man.
Sentimental Miss prevailed by a length and a quarter from Beyond The Fort, while third placegetter Star Karen was brave after covering ground throughout.
Inside barriers played a key role with three of the first four runners home drawn in barriers one, two and three. – NZ Racing Desk