Waking Moment’s maiden win in the $200,000 Adrian Knox Stakes has trainer John Thompson dreaming about a similar outcome in next weekend’s $1 million Australian Oaks at Randwick.
The two-year-old filly needed practically every inch of the 2000m on her home track to reel in Perfect Rhyme and did so in a manner that suggested she might handle the step up in trip on what would be a Group One debut.
“The Oaks distance (2400m) won’t be a worry,” he said on Saturday after Waking Moment scored by half a head.
Although the quality of the field was down on last Saturday’s Oaks preamble at Rosehill, the Vinery Stakes, Thompson felt she could handle a higher class provided she recovered.
“We’ll see how she pulls up. There is that option or Queensland Oaks. I think the horse will probably tell us.
“No doubt about it,” he said when asked if Waking Moment could make the necessary improvements over the next seven days.
“She is a horse on the way up. The more ground she gets, the better she’ll get.”
Thompson said she had matured nicely since her debut in mid-February at Randwick, where she finished fifth of 10 in a maiden over 1200m.
“Then she went to Kembla over a mile and she was a bit fresh and over-raced,” he said.
“Jason (Collett) put her to sleep and rode her to hit the line today and she did.”
Collett also recalled that seventh placing at Kembla Grange when pinpointing Waking Moment’s positive strides.
“We rode her quiet at her first start over 1200m and she did a lot wrong. She over-raced but finished nicely.
“We were able to switch her off today. She’s still very new and raw. There’s a lot to come but that’s a good effort.
“She wasn’t really confident in that going in the early stages but she just grew more and more confident.”
While Waking Moment $21 with Williamhill.com.au and Perfect Rhyme ($6) plunged for the line, Fallacy ($26) filled out the placings, 4-1/2 lengths adrift.