Adrian Bott and Gai Waterhouse had already enjoyed a marvellous Melbourne spring with their two-year-olds Unite And Conquer and Espaaniyah winning at Flemington and at The Valley, on Cox Plate Day, respectively.
And they added a third string to their juvenile bow at headquarters on Oaks Day today when Vinicunca (pictured) proved just too strong for the Coolmore-owned Art Collection in the opening Maribyrnong Plate, a race with a significant honour roll in which former champions figure prominently.
In the past 20 years subsequent group 1 winners Testa Rossa, Bel Esprit (the sire of Black Caviar) and Nadeem have all taken out the Plate.
Will Vinicunca, a A$600,000 yearling from the Inglis sales who is a daughter of the successful sire I Am Invincible, follow in their footsteps?
Certainly Bott believes she can take high honours amongst her generation of youngsters.
“We really wanted to target the carnival with some nice two-year-old types, Unite And Conquer, Espaaniyah, they all tick those boxes. They did a lot of their prep work at home (in Sydney, as did Vinicunca). She did a nice jump out down here and trained right on from the potential we saw at home. She has done a fantastic job and is thriving,” Bott said.
“She is a very talented filly going forward, she is right up there with the best two-year-olds we have in training.”
Delighted to have won a group 3 race at the first time of asking, Bott said she would now have bigger targets.