Gai Waterhouse wants Pinot to fill Oaks void in her resume


Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott sat down at the beginning of the spring and made plans for a couple of nice fillies to head to Melbourne and Our Crown Mistress and Pinot made a success of it at Caulfield on Saturday, with the promise of more to come.

Waterhouse has never won a VRC Oaks but in Pinot, which was dominate in Saturday’s Ethereal Stakes, she might have a Pierro filly to fill that void in her resume of 134 group 1 wins.

“I said to Adrian I haven’t won the Oaks down here and I want to win it this year,” Waterhouse said. “She was always the sort of filly that was going to be able to do that and she [is] going to be better as she steps up in trip again.”

Pinot’s all-the-way win in the Ethereal Stakes, followed the pattern of the afternoon of leader-dominated racing, but in any case she was simply the best stayer in the group 3.

Stephen Baster just rated her in front, then kicked clear on the turn for home and Pinot held off her rivals to score by 1-3/4 lengths from Rimraam, with Hiyaam another length back in third. The placegetters also sitting in the first three pairs in the run.

There is plenty of improvement in Pinot, which pulled a shoe in the progress of the win.

She looked like she would have had something in hand, despite being wayward in the straight at just her fifth start.

“She was like a snake down the straight but she is very good,” Baster said.

“She is a lot less aggressive with the blinkers off. She stays well and could go that speed all day.

“Obviously getting to the Oaks trip will suit her down to the ground, she’s just tough and she’s obviously going to be very hard to beat.”

Pinot was in to a $4.40 second favourite for the VRC Oaks, behind Thousand Guineas winner Aloisia at $3.50 after adding the Ethereal to her Oaks trial last start.

“She was beaten in a lowly maiden and she just kept improving in every possible way, mentally and physically,” Waterhouse said. “She just needed to get up to this sort of trip and she is only going to get better when she gets up to the Oaks trip.”

Earlier Our Crown Mistress made it three wins on end after also being identified as “the right sort of filly for Melbourne”.  

“We discussed it early in the piece and we knew we had a couple of very lovely fillies in the stable and we decided [to] get them down to Melbourne and get them used to this way of going,” Waterhouse said.

“They have got used to the climate and racing conditions and tracks and never looked back. It has turned out to be a good plan and they are only getting better.

“Our Crown Mistress will head to a 1400m group 3 in Cup week and she is going to be better again there.”

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