Oliver rubber stamps So Dazzling’s Oaks credentials - DGR Thoroughbred Services

Oliver rubber stamps So Dazzling's Oaks credentials

Oaks credentials

CHAMPION jockey Damien Oliver will be careful not to make the same mistake twice after winning Sunday’s VRC Oaks Preview at Flemington in iconic colours synonymous with spring success.

Oliver, in a rare ride wearing the late Dato Tan Chin Nam colours, black and white checks with yellow sleeves, expertly handled the John Sargent-trained So Dazzling in the 1800m fillies’ classic qualifier.

“These colours are famous for staying races and John Sargent certainly knows what he’s doing with staying horses so she’s got a bit going for her,” Oliver, a record equal seven-time Oaks winner, said.

“She feels like an Oaks-type filly for sure … looks like she’s going to like the distance.”

So Dazzling ploughed through testing ground to hold off Whakamana and Let’sbefrankbaby.

After the win Oliver recalled winning the 2008 Brisbane Cup in the Think Big colours on Viewed but regrettably the legendary jockey opted to ride an import in the Melbourne Cup later that year.

His choice ran seventh behind Viewed, who edged out the gallant Bauer, to hand Bart Cummings his 12th and last Cup triumph — and fourth with prolific owner Dato Tan Chin Nam after Think Big (1974-75) and Saintly (1996).

“Bart proved us wrong, as he does,” Oliver laughed about the Viewed opportunity lost.

Oliver looks primed for more success though, with So Dazzling a class above her opposition on Saturday, an early ace in the back pocket.

Oliver made the most of a mid-race slackening of the speed to amble up to the leaders and power away for a strong win.

“I did get there a little soon but it wasn’t a matter of actually going, they really steadied up that mid race and she just cruised up there,” Oliver said.

Sargent, who watched the Preview from home in Sydney, was pleased his early spring Melbourne raid came off.

“I don’t normally send them down this early before the Oaks but I saw that race, it looked a nice race, and there’s a lot of time back to the Oaks now,” Sargent said.

“She can come back tomorrow night now, have a few days off and we’ll aim her for (the Oaks).”

Sargent, who has won Group 1 Oaks in Queensland (Quintessential, 2012), Victoria (Kirramosa, 2013), and New South Wales (Gust Of Wind, 2015), has sights set on a second Flemington success.

“She’ll probably have a couple of runs into the Oaks, usually the remedy is the Wakeful into the Oaks, I’ve done that before with Kirramosa (2013),” Sargent said.

“Whether we do that or she has two starts (Sydney) and goes down for the Oaks, now she’s been to Flemington.”

Story courtesy of Breednet