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Aristia sheds maiden tag in style

3 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Gallant filly Aristia (Lonhro) has displayed impeccable timing by opening her winning account on the biggest of stages.

She gained a deserved first victory at Flemington on Saturday and had connections popping champagne corks when she proved superior to her fellow fillies in the G2 Mumm Wakeful S.

Aristia had finished runner-up at her previous appearance in the G3 Ethereal S., at Caulfield and she had no trouble overcoming a wide gate to go one better in style.

“It’s a good race for her to break her maiden.” - Mathew Ellerton.

“It’s a good race for her to break her maiden,” said Mathew Ellerton, who prepares her in partnership with Simon Zahra.

Thoughts immediately turned to next week’s G1 VRC Oaks and any rain would see Aristia’s Classic chances soar.

“She’s better off with a bit of sting out of the ground, if she pulls up well we’ll progress to Thursday,” Ellerton said.

“It’s very hard to win during Cup week so we’ll savour this, it’s onwards and upwards.” – Mathew Ellerton.

“It’s very hard to win during Cup week so we’ll savour this, it’s onwards and upwards.”

Aristia was given a good ride by Damian Lane, who was able to get the filly in a handy spot and one off the fence and she found the line determinedly to account for Qafila (Not A Single Doubt).

Aristia pictured as a yearling

“I’m absolutely thrilled as I’ve had a couple of quiet Saturdays,” Lane said.

“It’s also a big thrill to ride a winner for Mathew and Simon, I work closely with the team.” – Damian Lane.

"It's also a big thrill to ride a winner for Mathew and Simon, I work closely with the team."

Runner-up Qafila’s co-trainer David Hayes said his filly had trouble finding clear air when she needed it, but was delighted with the way she found the line once she had room to move.

“She was a little bit unlucky. From the 400 to the 200 when she needed a run she didn’t get it, but she was the best finisher in the race.”

Hayes wasn’t prepared to commit to an Oaks start and will mull that over in the coming days. “I’m just not sure yet. We’ll wait and see how she pulls up first,” he said.

Oaks ruled out

El Dorado Dreaming (Ilovethiscity) rounded off strongly in the straight for third and trainer Kris Lees has already put a line through a VRC Oaks start.

“She ran very well and I think the pull in the weights told,” he said. “She’s going to have a break and I think she will be a genuine Oaks contender next year.”

Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) was well-fancied off the back of her G3 Ethereal S., victory but she wasn’t the same filly this time. She was widest at the top of the straight and made ground without ever threatening the major players.