A brief look back at Oaks Day

A look at some of the Oaks Day action at Flemington.

NAJEM SUHAIL winning the G.H. Mumm Century Stakes in Flemington, Australia.
NAJEM SUHAIL winning the G.H. Mumm Century Stakes in Flemington, Australia. Picture: Racing Photos

Najem Suhail backs up in Century Stakes 

Najem Suhail could be back at Flemington for a third time during Melbourne Cup week after winning the Listed Century Stakes (1000m). 

The Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock-trained sprinter finished third in the Group 3 Rising Fast Stakes (1200m) last Saturday as a pipe-opener to Thursday's success. 

The sprinter is down to run in the Listed Always Welcome Stakes (1200m) on Saturday and Griffiths said the sprinter was likely to take his place. 

"He has only run 3.4 kilometres over the three days not like the 9.2 kilometres that Phar Lap did," Griffiths said. 

in 1930, Phar Lap won on all four days of the Carnival, including the Melbourne Cup. 

Najem Suhail got out with an eight-length lead before being run down on Saturday, but was able to conserve his energy in Thursday's success, running down Spacewalk in the closing stages and turning round a 0.6 length defeat. 

"He was too fresh as everyone saw on Saturday," Griffiths said. 

"He came through the run super and Mat and I were delighted with him and his last run here at Flemington over the 1000 (metres) he was very, very good when he won and ran fast time. 

"You would've seen in the yard today, he presented like a horse who hadn't run on Saturday, so he was in good order and did us very proud." 

Berry back at Flemington 

Jockey Tommy Berry invariably heads to Melbourne during Cup week without leaving with a winner. 

The VRC Oaks meeting was Berry's first in Melbourne since returning from a 'tips for benefits' suspension last month and he guided Mumbai Muse home in the Group 3 Red Roses Stakes (1100m). 

Berry was out for seven months but was determined to return in peak condition after having time to 'freshen up'. 

"I just got myself fitter than I've ever been because I didn't want to have any 'ifs or buts' when I got back," Berry said. 

"I just wanted it to be, if you've still got it, you'll ride winners. 

"I've come back into racing fresh. I feel so good, and I think it's probably showing in my riding as well, as I've never felt better." 

Mumbai Muse was trainer Michael Freedman's second winner of the Carnival after Queen Of The Ball won the Group 3 Begonia Belle Stakes on the opening day. 

Just like Queen Of The Ball, Mumbai Muse came from well back in the field. 

"I was a little concerned mid-race how far back Tommy was," Freedman said. 

"Normally at home she's been up on the speed, even with cover, but really trucking and she just seemed to, I think, relax beautifully up there today. 

"When she got to the outside, I could see that she was going to feature in it somehow. I wasn't quite sure whether she was going to get up. 

"She's had a terrific preparation." 

Foxy Freda bounces back 

Foxy Freda has landed a second win in the Inglis Bracelet (1600m) in three years under a cool ride by in form jockey Billy Egan

Backing up from a disappointing display in the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) on Saturday, Foxy Freda had a distinct class edge on her opposition on Tuesday. 

Foxy Freda won the Inglis Bracelet at the corresponding meeting in 2021 while last year the mare was tried over 2000m when out of the money in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes on the final day of Melbourne Cup week. 

"It was a huge punt for me to bring her here again in such a short space," Noblet said. 

"I felt a bit of pressure on myself to bring her here again because you just don't know, but I knew she'd pulled up well and full credit to all the team at home. 

"She had a lazy day on Sunday and cantered around the last couple of days and came here feeling really well today. 

"She's been a great story. 

"A relatively cheap horse, we took her home and she's got better and better with age." 

Precious fightback to win at Flemington 

Bill Wilde has learned not to question his son Symon's judgement after Precious Charm took out the TCL Trophy (1700m). 

It was a tenacious victory by Precious Charm to fight back after being headed in the straight by runner-up Fancify to then score a short-head win. 

Precious Charm was having her fourth start on Thursday and was jumping in trip from 1200m to 1700m. 

"I must say at breakfast this morning we were questioning Symon's judgment about putting her up from the 1200 (metres) to the 1700," Wilde senior said. 

"But he's been right more often, Symon, than he's been wrong, so we were delighted with that win. 

Wilde was at Flemington representing his son on Thursday and joked that Symon should stay at home more often. 

"We seem to do better when Simon doesn't actually attend the races so maybe it's something we'll continue in the future," Wilde said. 

"We'll leave him at home." 

Quote of the Day 

"It's the first time I've actually seen one of our runners win here so I'm really excited" - Chantelle Jolly after Karavas, a horse she trains with her father Richard, won the Group 3 Ottawa Stakes.