By Julieanne Horsman
Heading into the Group 1 Australian Oaks, the Kiwi horses were the query.
Punters were convinced their form would stack up though and backed New Zealand Oaks winner Bonneval into favouritism.
They were right and Bonneval franked her form with a four and a half length win from Perfect Rhyme and Lasqueti Spirit.
“I was humming on the turn, but I did have a good 150m to make up and I don’t care what level you are at, that’s hard to do,” jockey Hugh Bowman said. “She had it made up by the 100m mark and I could enjoy the ride with everyone else for the last few strides.”
It was Bonneval’s fourth win in a row and the second Group 1 win in a week for Cambridge training team, Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, who also train last week’s Australian Derby winner Jon Snow.
“It’s a dream result,” Murray Baker said.
“They were going pretty hard up front and it is hard to keep going at that pace, I knew she would stay.
“I hope she might be a weight for age horse and we will have to have a look at something for her in the spring maybe, it’s a long way away.”
Outside chance Perfect Rhyme was impressive for second place, engaging in a thrilling straight battle with Lasqueti Spirit before being rundown by Bonneval.
“It was a super effort,” Perfect Rhyme’s jockey Tye Angland said. “She jumped from a wide gate but ended up having a beautiful run. She had to do the hard work bringing the other horses up to the leader but to her credit she stuck on very strongly.”
Lasqueti Spirit’s jockey, Jay Ford, was also full of praise for his mount.
“She was very gallant,” he said. “Gate two proved to be a bit of a hindrance as it took a bit of navigation to get to the front but I thought she was very gallant in defeat.”