Waverley trainer Bill Thurlow was pleased with the runner-up performance of lightly-raced three-year-old Beyond The Fort in last Saturday’s Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).
At just her third raceday start the daughter of Niagara started as a $40 chance in the Oaks and was beaten a length and a quarter by Sentimental Miss, but the performance came as no surprise to Thurlow.
“We were quietly confident that she’d run well, she’d done nothing wrong,” Thurlow said.
“She stepped out and won her first start over a mile and then won again over a mile at Otaki.”
Thurlow said a lack of staying options for a filly coming through the grades meant he was forced to trial his two-win filly and then step straight into the Oaks.
“We couldn’t run her anywhere. We had to organise a trial and we trialled her against some of our own horses because nobody wanted an open trial,” he said.
“We nearly got there, we weren’t surprised, she’s a pretty good horse.
“She can stay all day and she was beaten by a better horse on the day, but beaten by a more seasoned horse on the day, and in the ground it probably told the last 150m.
“She’s not nominated for Sydney and I probably wouldn’t appeal to the owners to pay a late nomination to be fair.
“She looks good after the race and if she does well she could go to Morphettville for the South Australian Oaks (Gr.1, 2000m) in May.”
Thurlow will talk with friend and Victorian trainer Paddy Payne to discuss the best pathway to the Oaks for Beyond The Fort. – NZ Racing Desk