Amokura runs away with Group 1 Queensland Oaks

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announced herself in a new class going from a maiden to Group One winner in three starts taking out the at on Saturday.

Although she only was carrying a 67 rating and a 5:2-1-0 record heading into the 2200m feature, the -trained filly had support with online bookmakers winding in her price from $21 to $7.50.

She won her maiden by a lazy 8.8 lengths in her fourth career start before breezing in again last time around.

The scratching of two-time Group One winner on Thursday was sure to have put extra confidence in the Lees camp over the past three days.

As gates flew open Let Me Reign ($81) under James Orman took up the lead with the piloted ($12) sitting second with Divine Purpose ($67) parked third.

With 300m left to travel $91 chance Reo came from the clouds taking the lead before hoop popped the question on Amokura to move off the rail and pass between the two leaders extending the filly's lead and snatching victory by a length.

2023 Group 1 Queensland Oaks Replay – Amokura

The win marked the 17th time that trainer Kris Lees had prepared winners in Group One contests and the second Oaks after seeing Vitesse Dane win the 2005 edition.

He was impressed with the run and as he said any horse can surprise given the opportunity but that his filly had shown signs strong enough to build confidence.

“They can come from nowhere,” Lees said.

“She's always showed us something. It's her first race preparation, so we were always guarded with how far we could go with her but she put the writing on the wall with her win at Newcastle by a big margin, so we brought her up with the view of trying to sneak her in with a bit of prize money.

“She did that at the Sunshine Coast and snuck into the race. Got Ollie (Damien Oliver) to come up and ride and the rest is history.”

“He (Oliver) weaved a passage and got the job done.”

“All along she gave us the impression she'd get over ground, just where her ceiling was, we weren't sure.

“When she won that race at Newcastle, I said we better start making plans.

“It was her first preparation, so she's going to get a well-deserved break. We will reassess her from there.”

The contest today was a gigantic jump in class but she proved her credentials as a progressive type and the ride by Olly went a long way in the victory, his 128th Group One salute and first Queensland Oaks, as one of only two rides on the card.

“I didn't want to ride too light today. I'm really happy that Kris Lees talked me into coming up for this one. She's a lovely filly,” Oliver said.

“We were in the gates for a fair while from barrier one, so I thought there was a chance we wouldn't muster much speed. The pace was really good so we settled in the back of the field.

“I just got a beautiful run through and fortunately I was on one good enough to take me through the gaps when they were opening.

“She's not only got a good turn-of-foot, she stays well too. When the race is run at that sort of tempo, for a filly that runs a strong distance, that helps.”

The -trained Reo took second paying $19.70(P) for the place with Les Kelly-trained Noah ‘N' A Deel taking third paying $7(P).

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