The horse the small crowd at Caulfield came to see on AFl grand final day has suffered her first defeat.
Miss Vista, the mare with the distinctive white face and white stocking legs, is a crowd favourite because of her markings.
She captured the hearts of the public with her 5-1/2 length maiden win at Ballarat in March before scoring at Flemington on Anzac Day.
Having her first run since in Saturday’s Monty Samuel Plate, Miss Vista was sent out the $2.80 favourite and showed blistering pace before being run down in the final 100m to finish third.
Her apprentice rider Ben Allen wasn’t disappointed with the daughter of Show A Heart.
“She went pretty strong early and when she straightened she had a good look around and then got tired late,” Allen said.
“She’ll be much better next run.”
Ameristralia was backed from $4.20 to $3 before scoring a 2-3/4 length win from Cheeky Babe ($8) with Miss Vista a further long neck away.
The victory was Ameristralia’s third in a row following Bendigo victories at the first two runs of her current campaign.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said it was never easy to be winning races during the spring.
“It’s only a benchmark 70 but she’s going somewhere and at this time of year you’ve got to earn them,” Hawkes said.
“She’s gone from winning in the bush to winning a Saturday race so now we’ve got to look for a black-type race somewhere.
“Six months ago she was looking likely be sent off to stud but she’s gone the right way and we’re happy to have her for another 12 months.”
Jockey Dwayne Dunn said Ameristralia had turned the corner since the decision was made to ride her conservatively.
Dunn now hopes Ameristralia can make it to black-type level.
“It might have to be the lower tier at this stage but she’s come a long way in quick time,” he said.
Hawkes Racing and Dunn doubled up when Zara Bay took out the dreamthoroughbreds.com.au Handicap.
Zara Bay was backed from $15 to $11 before scoring by a length from Star Impulse ($61) with Najmaat ($4.20) three quarters of a length away third.
Hawkes said Zara Bay was a mare which hates wet tracks, adding he was concerned when rain fell on Friday night.
“Luckily we happened to fluke an in-between track because if the track was wet she wouldn’t have run,” Hawkes said.