DR SUSAN MAKES MOST OF DRAW IN VICTORIA OAKS FINAL
The first season training partnership of Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon successfully landed their first Group One victory with Dr Susan, thanks to a superb front-running drive from Anthony Butt in the $150,000 Victoria Oaks at Melton on Saturday, January 25.
“It’s a massive thrill to get the job done and extremely exciting for Nathan,” said trainer Cran Dalgety, who he co-prepares for Dr Susan’s wife. Chrissie.
“But I’d like to dedicate this win to top man Gavin Lang, who has driven a number of winners over here for me, but is having some time off with illness” Cran said.
Cran is no stranger to Group race success in Australia, but this was just the second Group One win in Australia for Nathan, who prepared Ohoka Punter to win the Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on his own account four years ago.
There was some anxiety pre-race when a fresh Dr Susan tangled in the inituial score-up, causing a false start in the Pryde’s Easifeed-sponsored event, but she was well behaved in the re-run.
She wasn’t hurried off the gate, but had made lead rounding the first turn and was travelling sweetly thereafter.
Her noted big race driver put the pedal down when favourite Stylish Memphis made her three-wide run beginning the final 800m, with Dr Susan peeling off a second-last 400m in 26.3s to leave her rivals struggling.
Despite a luckless run from the second row, Stylish Memphis kept coming in the run home to complete a NZ-trained quinella, with Dr Susan holding by 4.4 metres.
Dr Susan, the improving daughter of champion sire Bettor’s Delight and a former Southland Oaks winner in Safedra, paced the 2760m in 3:20, a mile rate of 1:56.6 and the last 800m in 54.3s.
After taking seven starts to win her maiden, she’s following the path of many in her immediate family by strengthening with time and racing.
She was Group One-placed when third to Amazing Dream and Stylish Memphis in the Alabar Sires Stakes 3YO Filllies Championship at Auckland on New Year’s Eve, then won the Group Two Garrards Raith Memorial at Menangle this month in 1:52.1 (mile).
Dr Susan has the option of further Australian success in the upcoming New South Wales Oaks, a race her grand-dam Sparks A Flyin won for the Dalgety stable in 2001.