EMMA Stewart has landed one of Australia’s great three-year-old pacing classics.
Beauty Secret ($6) added to the Smythes Creek trainer’s group 1 haul in the $100,000 Victoria Oaks, 2240m, at Melton on Friday night.
One of three Stewart starters in the fillies feature, Beauty Secret capitalised on a perfectly judged drive by Daryl Douglas to run down NSW Oaks winner and leader Marquess De Posh ($3.80) by a half head in 1:56.8.
Stewart and her partner Clayton have won a string of group 1 events over the past five years – the Australasian Breeders Crown, Vicbred Super Series and Australian Pacing Gold head the line-up, which also features a Ballarat Pacing Cup, Tasmanian Pacing Championship and Gold Nugget (WA).
They have had numerous runners in blue ribbon Derby and Oaks finals and can now boast being represented on the honour roll of one of these honour boards.
Stewart dominated the Oaks heats.
Beauty Secret and Shake It Mama each won heats, while Hexham Heartbeat ran a close second.
In the final, Beauty Secret quickly became the stable’s only hope after Shake It Mama struck trouble and Hexham Heartbeat found herself well back.
Beauty Secret now has nine wins in 18 starts, including the SA Southern Cross 2yo fillies’ final, for almost $160,000 in stakes.
She is by Armbro Operative and one of three winners produced by former smart racemare Secret Life (11 wins).
Stewart and Tonkin launch another huge weekend with Beauty Secret’s half-sister Perfect Life at Melton tomorrow night.
The stable is chasing big feature events in three states.
Perfect Life lines up in a $20,000 Vicbred Super Series heat for 4yo mares, 2240m, hoping to qualify for a group 1 $100,000 final. Their attention then turns to Menangle (NSW) and Albion Park (Queensland) on Saturday night.
Unbeaten two-year-old Guaranteed tackles the group 3 $40,000 Rod Fitzpatrick Memorial, 1609m, in Sydney.
Guaranteed has had two starts for wins at Maryborough and the Youthful Stakes at Melton. In Brisbane, Truman contests a $20,000 Australian Pacing Gold semi-final for two-year-old colts and geldings.
Truman is a half-brother to seven winners, but is yet to salute in his two starts.
He did flash home for third in his APG heat, though.
Meanwhile, Peter Tonkin goes after his second Chariots of Fire success at Menangle tomorrow night.
Devilish Smile has drawn two in the group 1 $200,000 classic for four-year-olds, but with an emergency in one will most likely get the pole.
Tonkin gave Devilish Smile a start to his four-year-old campaign after taking out last year’s group 1 $100,000 Vicbred Super Series final, with a short country cups campaign which yielded him the Ouyen Pacing Cup.
Devilish Smile secured a Chariots of Fire start with a fourth in the Hondo Grattan Stakes. Tonkin took out the 2009 Chariots of Fire with Maffioso.
Tonkin’s team is also never too far away from a Mt Gambier meeting.
Dee Devito ($1.10 favourite) and two-year-old colt All The Cards ($1.40) provided the Smythes Creek stable with a double at a twilight meeting on Sunday.