La Fantastique led home a trifecta for Darley sires in the Listed Tasmanian Oaks in Launceston on Thursday evening.
La Fantastique (3f Fantastic Light – Rainbird Blue by Bluebird) made a winning move at the home turn to defeat the Sheikh Mohammed owned placegetters Exchanges (Domesday) and Giggleswick (Elusive Quality).
Caulfield based Aquanita trainer Robert Smerdon set her for the fillies feature after winning a Ballarat mile maiden by six lengths in January. “She’s come a fair way in what is only her first preparation,” Smerdon said. “She was a bit disappointing at Moonee Valley last time but we decided to push on and it paid off tonight.”
The winner is from the final southern hemisphere crop of Sheikh Mohammed’s world champion Fantastic Light (Rahy). He shuttled to Australia for five years until 2006 and has left 155 individual winners in Australia and NZ to date at a 63% strike-rate.
La Fantastique is a homebred for Aquanita chairman Peter Howell who raced her dam Rainbird Blue to four wins up to 1400m in Melbourne and Adelaide. Second dam Sovereign Appeal (Southern Appeal) was G3 winner of the VATC Inglis Premier Sale Stakes.
Smerdon, who won the 2001 Tasmanian Oaks with Masterkova (Fairy King), has the option of heading to Adelaide or Brisbane with La Fantastique.
“The South Australian Oaks is in five weeks,” he said. “We might leave her at David Brunton’s property where she can have a break and work on the beaches. If not, we will bring her back home and head to Brisbane for the Queensland Oaks.”