Donna Logan has avenged her Australian Oaks demons with Rising Romance stepping up to the plate at Randwick to give the New Zealand trainer the win she wanted so much a year ago.
And James McDonald gained redemption for his last ride on Rising Romance in the Vinery Stud Stakes when she finished fourth to Lucia Valentina, a filly she had beaten easily at home.
The Logan-trained Habibi was the 2013 Oaks favourite but finished a distant fourth behind Royal Descent and suffered a muscle injury during the race.
There were no problems on Saturday with McDonald giving Rising Romance ($6) a sweet run on the fence and producing her in the straight where she stretched out and held Zanbagh ($7.50) at bay by a long head.
Lucia Valentina was sent out the odds-on favourite in the 2400m Classic after punters came with a late rush to back her in from $2.10 to $1.80 but she failed to catch the top two, finishing third.
“This is the ultimate,” Logan said.
“To come over here and win such a big race at The Championship is a dream.
“James did tell me he had made a mistake in the Vinery and promised me he would win the Oaks.”
Logan made no mistakes, walking the Randwick track on Saturday morning to satisfy herself where the best ground was.
“I walked it and I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the fence,” she said.
“I told James what I thought and that there was no need to cover any extra ground if he didn’t have to and he agreed.
“He rode it perfectly. He is a legend.”
McDonald had Rising Romance in a forward position on the rail with Amanpour setting the early pace and said he was always travelling well.
“I rode it badly the other day and I’m so happy to make it up to Donna,” Mcdonald said.
Blake Shinn was proud of Zanbagh who has now finished second in the VRC Oaks and the Sydney equivalent.
“She was very brave in defeat,” he said.
“She got left a bit flat-footed at the 500 (metres) but that last bit she hit the line really strongly.”
Lucia Valentina’s rider Hugh Bowman said he thought he was on the winner.
“”I thought I had them at the top of the straight but I did have to make a long run,” Bowman said.
“She’s acquitted herself well.”
Logan, who won the 2002 Metropolitan Handicap with Victory Smile, said she and Rising Romance would be back in Australia in the spring.
“It’s up to the owners but I think she is a Caulfield Cup horse,” she said.
“After another six months when she grows and strengthens up I think you will see a very special horse.”
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