TRAINER Emma Stewart's star filly Ladies In Red blew her rivals off the Lord's Raceway track on Saturday night, romping to victory in the Group 1 Victoria Oaks (2650m).
Driven to perfection by David Moran, Ladies In Red comprehensively notched up her 13th career win from 14 starts with an amazing display of endurance and speed in the $150,000 final, which was run for the first time at Bendigo.
Just as they did in the Group 1 Victoria Derby one race earlier, the Stewart-Tonkin camp dominated the Oaks, filling the top three placings and four of the top five.
Joanna, driven by Kate Gath, made Ladies In Red work hard throughout but was no match for her stable-mate in the home straight before going down by 5.8m, while Beach Music was a further 2m away in third.
But all honours were with the winner, who continues to astound even those around her every day.
"She's an unbelievable filly and we've never had one like her," Tonkin said post-race on Trots Vision.
"Everyone sort of doubted her a little bit tonight, but it just shows you how her will is to win.
"They went 26 off the back. Our other fillies went sensational, but this just show you the class of her.
"She's definitely the best juvenile we've had because what she does is just unbelievable, but she's so tradesman-like."
Tonkin felt Ladies In Red would not have been out of place up against the more dominant colts and geldings on show in the derby.
"To be honest with you, I think if she was in it, she would definitely give it a good shake because she doesn't know how to give up," he said.
Moran, who drove both Ladies In Red and Beach Music to dominant wins in the previous weeks heats, was grateful to have stuck with the winner and described her effort as 'incredible'.
"She was tremendous tonight. We sort of looked after her really the first few starts and we probably haven't screwed her down 100 per cent," he said.
"We kept her quiet in the warm-up, but tonight she knew it was time to go.
"It planned out the way I thought, I thought Joanna would get across and then there wouldn't be a ridiculous lead time and we'd eventually have to end up making a move.
"We managed to get there (to the lead) pretty cheap and at the right time before they really started quickening up and she did the rest from there."
Ladies In Red, by Mach Three out of Kabbalah Karen, has been beaten only once in her career, her loss coming in the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series Final on New Year's Eve last year.
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