New Zealander Rising Romance has outlasted the best staying three-year-old fillies in Australasia to land the $1 million Australian Oaks at Randwick.
With jockey James McDonald repaying trainer Donna Logan for sticking him in the time-honoured feature, Rising Romance ($6) held on to beat Zanbagh ($7.50).
The heavily backed $1.80 favourite Lucia Valentina took third ahead of Forever Loved.
McDonald gave Rising Romance a sweet run in the 2400m Classic, having her poised to strike in fifth place, three lengths from the leaders.
He improved his position on the turn and Rising Romance joined in before kicking away with what turned out to be an unassailable lead.
She looked set to an easy victory until the placegetters made late surges.
McDonald admitted he made mistakes when Rising Romance was unplaced in the Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill two weeks ago.
“James said it was it worst big-race ride,” Logan said.
“He said `I will make make it up to you in the Oaks … we’ll win it’.”
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