Youngstar has given Sydney jockey Kerrin McEvoy successive wins in the Group One Queensland Oaks.
Youngstar prevailed in a thrilling three-way finish to keep champion trainer Chris Waller’s perfect record of producing Queensland Oaks winners at Doomben intact.
The $3.70 favourite, Youngstar made a late lunge to win the Oaks by a nose from stablemate Another Dollar ($6.50) with Sheezdashing ($8.00), an unlucky third a short half head away.
Due to ongoing maintenance problems at Eagle Farm, the Queensland Oaks has been held at Doomben three times since 2015.
Waller won it with Winx in that year and he was successful with Egg Tart in 2017.
Waller took time out to praise raceday officials for holding their nerve when jockeys raised concerns about the state of the track during the meeting.
“Well done to everybody, no one panicked and we’ve got through safely after unforseen circumstances earlier in the day,” Waller said.
“The track staff worked tirelessly and very quickly to move the rail out otherwise we wouldn’t have had the Oaks.”
The lure of another blue riband success in the Group One Queensland Derby over the same course and distance on June 9 will be considered by Waller for Youngstar.
“It’s a good idea having it two weeks apart. One week for fillies is a bit hard. We weren’t tempted to back Winx up but it’s something to think about,” he said.
Waller praised Youngstar’s ability to cope with the hustle and bustle of the Oaks when she was forced to cover ground at various stages.
“It was a bit like a bicycle race the way they were changing positions. They were wheeling around and she’s gone from a perfect spot one off the fence then shunted three and four wide.
“They took off very early and she needed all of her qualities to come back on the line.”
Youngstar gave jockey Kerrin McEvoy back-to-back wins in the Oaks after Egg Tart’s victory last year.
“It was a tough win because I made a decision to pop out and get on the back of Aloisia and then I was left stranded without cover,” McEvoy said.
“It was a case of sit and suffer. They came at me from the 700m when I wanted to get going so I had to wait and suffer.
“She got bumped around the last part of the corner and it was a tough effort to pick herself up and get going again.”
McEvoy believes the best is still ahead for Youngstar.
“Full credit to my filly. She regained her composure within 50 yards of straightening up and finished with a flourish,” he said.
“She’s gone to a new level when she’s gone out in trip so the sky’s the limit.”