Australian Oaks: Danny O’Brien produces one El of a training performance

The Victorians have continued their raid on Sydney’s autumn carnival coffers with the Danny O’Brien-trained El Patroness triumphing in the Group 1 ATC Australian Oaks at Randwick.

The southern raiders have been dynamic during this year’s Championships with Hitotsu claiming the Derby last week and Mr Brightside the Doncaster Mile.

El Patroness, a $26 outsider, added her name to that list when she swept home to beat Queensland filly Gypsy Goddess ($4) in Saturday’s classic, with leader Gin Martini ($91) holding on for third.

Favourite Hinged settled midfield and wasn’t disgraced, finishing fourth.

Speaking from Melbourne, O’Brien said he was especially thrilled to claim a major with a daughter of Shamus Award, who he trained to two Group 1 wins including the 2013 Cox Plate.

Shamus Award is proving to be an outstanding sire of stayers with Caulfield Cup winner Incentivise, star mare Duais and 2019 Queensland Derby victor Mr Quickie among his five individual Group 1 winners.

“Shamus Award is such an exceptional stallion and when his horses get to 2400 metres you are very confident with them,” O’Brien said.

“It’s a bit like how it used to be with the Zabeels at a mile and a half, they just grow a leg. I trained Shamus Award and I bred this filly.

“She is my first Group One winner by Shamus Award so to that respect it is really satisfying to train Shamus Award and to train this filly. ”

El Patroness showed staying potential in the spring but was spelled after missing a place in the Wakeful Stakes and didn’t get to the VRC Oaks.

O’Brien said he was always confident she would excel once she got to a genuine staying journey.

“She was favourite for the VRC Oaks in the spring, but she had a really tough run on Caulfield Cup Day and that bottomed her out,” he said.

“We had always been very confident in her once she got to 2400 metres. It was really testing conditions, but she was powering through the line.”

O’Brien said they may look at pressing on to the Queensland Oaks depending on how El Patroness came through Saturday’s win.

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