The Oaks Stud brains trust is still weighing up the immediate futures of its star fillies Artistic and Zurella after they dominated the G1 New Zealand Oaks at Trentham.
“They’re back home and having a week off,” The Oaks Stud general manager Rick Williams said. “We will then decide whether to carry on or look toward Melbourne in the spring.”
Artistic (Darci Brahma) denied Zurella (Zabeel) by a nose in a thrilling finish to the classic. The Shaune Ritchie trained fillies are raced by The Oaks owner Dick Karreman. “Artistic has been giving them some big starts over a mile and she’s always looked like running 2400m right out,” Ritchie said. “She’s a real sweetheart.”
Artistic (NZ) had finished in the money in the G1 NZ 1000 Guineas, G2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic and G3 Desert Gold Stakes before she stepped up to a middle distance to win the LR Sunline Vase at Ellerslie.
The NZ Oaks result was the first at G1 level for The Oaks Stud’s impeccably bred stallion Darci Brahma (Danehill). He sired Artistic from Artless (Dahar) who is also the dam of the G1 Epsom Handicap winner Excellerator (Marscay).
“This is the biggest thrill I’ve had in racing,” Williams said. “We had some big wins with Seachange but to quinella the Oaks is something I’ll never forget. What Dick has achieved is remarkable.”
Third home in the Oaks was Quintessential (Fast ‘N’ Famous) who arrived from well back in the field as did Poste Restante (Postponed) to finish fourth.