Trainer Mike Moroney flagged an ambitious plan to win an Oaks on either side of the Tasman after Chicharita’s upset win at Ellerslie on Sunday.
The improving filly came from last on the turn under Chad Ormsby to take out the Group Two Royal Stakes (2000m) from Our Famous Eve, Joy’s Choice and favourite Planet Rock who faded in the last 150m.
Moroney, who operates stables in New Zealand and Melbourne, said Chicharita would probably join his Australian team at some point, possibly as early as autumn for the Australian Oaks in Sydney.
But in the more immediate future, she will stay at home to be tested over 2400 metres in the New Zealand Oaks in March.
The Royal Stakes is part of the NZ Filly of the Year series and Moroney, who trains the filly in partnership with Andrew Clarken, said he had expected her to run well.
“She’s a really smart filly and we had a fair bit of confidence given the way she’d worked,” Moroney said.
“She’s probably on target for the Oaks at Trentham.”
Filly of the Year series leader Planet Rock, winner of the Eight Carat Classic on Monday, looked to be travelling easily with 300m to run but could not finish off on the wet track.
“I can’t really say for sure that she didn’t get the 2000 metres. It might have been the effect of backing up so quickly,” jockey Hayden Tinsley said.
Second favourite Zurella was five lengths behind Planet Rock, possibly finding the wet track too tough.
Green Supreme earned himself a tilt at the Wellington and Auckland Cups with a strong victory in the Dunstan Stayers Championship Final at the Ellerslie meeting.
The five-year-old cemented his reputation as one of New Zealand’s most exciting distance prospects after taking out the race for emerging stayers despite doing many thing wrong in the race.
“He hated the (slow) track and was laying in all the way,” jockey James McDonald said. “He did it the hard way but he’s a very good horse.”
Graham Richardson said Green Supreme was up with the best horses he had trained.
He said he would set the horse for the Wellington Cup (2400m) on January 28 and then look at the Auckland Cup (3200m) on March 7.