New Zealand filly Miss Mossman will go into the ATC Oaks at Randwick on Saturday with her reputation restored – at least on the training track.
Miss Mossman needed to gallop strongly against the more seasoned stayer Voleuse De Coeurs on Tuesday to give her connections reason to part with $22,000 to have her included in the $1 million Oaks.
Confirming she has overcome a mild respiratory issue that trainer John Sargent says contributed to her lacklustre Australian debut, Miss Mossman worked in a manner expected of a New Zealand Oaks winner.
So much so, Sargent said there was nothing more Miss Mossman could do against her Sydney Cup-bound galloping mate.
“She worked over two thousand (metres), getting serious from the mile and just kept building,” Sargent said.
“It was a very good gallop.”
The decision to pay a late entry did little to influence Oaks betting with Miss Mossman a $26 chance.
It did however end more than a week of uncertainty for Sargent, chasing his third major Oaks win for the season, and the filly’s owners since her inglorious introduction to Australian racing in the Vinery Stud Stakes.
At Rosehill, Miss Mossman looked nothing like the horse who won last month’s New Zealand Oaks by 3-1/2 lengths.
“She slipped at the start and got in amongst horses and just over-raced when they walked,” Sargent said.
“She was just fighting hard (against her rider) all the way and you just can’t do that.”
Blinkers will be taken off Miss Mossman on Saturday and Sargent says she will figure in a change of riding tactics for Nash Rawiller.
“She’s better up there bowling away. Hopefully she can go forward, get herself in a position in the race where she races best at to show she can stay.”
Rising Romance, the New Zealand Derby runner-up who shares the second line of betting at $6 behind the favourite Lucia Valentina ($2.50), also came through a crucial Randwick gallop.
She was given a searching 2000-metre hit-out to keep her up up to the mark in preparation for a testing 2400m in what is expected to be more rain-affected ground on Saturday.