A STAYER WITH­OUT A DOUBT Top per­for­mance not eas­ily for­got­ten

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - NATHAN EXELBY @xlb­nathan_c­mail

IN A week where her sire Fast­net Rock re­claimed his man­tle as king of the sales ring, Un­for­got­ten showed se­ri­ous stay­ing po­ten­tial in a pow­er­ful ATC Oaks per­for­mance at Rand­wick yes­ter­day.

The Chris Waller-trained filly gunned down her Vin­ery Stud Stakes con­queror Hiyaam, rel­ish­ing a test­ing 2400m.

Waller said he had some reser­va­tions about 2400m, and jockey Hugh Bow­man re­vealed he doubted Un­for­got­ten was the right horse for the Oaks early this cam­paign.

“I haven’t had a lot to do with her this prepa­ra­tion. the team said she was our Oaks filly but af­ter her tri­als I wasn’t con­vinced,” Bow­man said.

“Af­ter her first-up run I still wasn’t con­vinced, but from then, once she’s got out to a suit­able dis­tance ... they know what they’re talk­ing about, the Chris Waller sta­ble.”

The cham­pion rider now holds a dif­fer­ent opin­ion, telling Waller she has the tal­ent to de­velop into a se­ri­ous older horse. “Only time will tell the class, but you’ve got some­thing to work with,” Bow­man said.

Un­for­got­ten has a strong Queens­land link, with her own­ers in­clud­ing Peter and Patty Tighe of Winx fame and their close friends Noel and Maria Green­halgh.

Un­for­got­ten races in Green­halgh’s Ir­ish colours, but the cou­ple missed the race be­cause they are now hol­i­day­ing in Rome. FAST FIN­ISHER: Jockey Hugh Bow­man pumps his fist, af­ter Un­for­got­ten’s win in the Oaks. Pic­ture: AAP

“Noel also raced Ami­cus with us, but that’s the first Group 1 win in his colours,” Waller said.

“He rang us at 4am this morn­ing he was that ex­cited.”

Waller said he was a lit­tle wor­ried in the run when Un­for­got­ten set­tled so far off the speed.

“You never stop wor­ry­ing in this job. Yeah, of course, I was,” he said.

“When I did see that speed, like ev­ery­body else, the first ques­tion was her stamina and whether that would hold up for a three-yearold filly. You don’t know un­til you run it.

“I think she has a very bright fu­ture. The most ex­cit­ing part of this win to­day was, like two starts ago, that she was brave. It’s fan­tas­tic.”

Hiyaam was brave in de­feat, set­ting up the fastest ATC Oaks in his­tory on a day where lead­ers re­ally strug­gled run­ning into a head­wind down the back. “She is very tough. That wind fired her up a lit­tle bit down the back and down the side,” Hiyaam’s jockey Michael Dee said. “I needed her to re­lax for an­other fur­long and that may have been the dif­fer­ence. She is so tough.” Fast­net Rock was the lead­ing sire by av­er­age at last week’s Inglis Aus­tralian Easter Year­ling Sale, where his prog­eny in­cluded the $2.3 mil­lion sale top­per. Un­for­got­ten joins Mosheen as an Oaks win­ner in Aus­tralia, for the stal­lion who also sired the 2015 Ep­som Oaks win­ner Qual­ify.

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