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By Andrew Adermann
Star three-year-old Pelosi has taken another step towards a South East Oaks tilt with a strong showing at Albion Park last night.
The Anna Woodmansey-trained filly defied a strong drift in the market, claiming the 1660-metre pace by less than half a metre.
Pelosi drifted back from the start, before driver John Cremin made an early move three-wide to join pace-setter B Mac C at the bell.
She sat outside the $1.90 favourite for the entirety of the last lap, before kicking away in the straight and fighting off a late charge from fellow Oaks aspirant, the Grant Dixon trained and driven Fond Memories.
“Early in her career, she always got herself to the front and the last couple of runs we’ve tried to drive her in the field to get her more educated in trailing,” Woodmansey said.
“John felt that the opportunity was there and wanted to get in front of Dixon’s horse (Fond Memories) so that’s why she went around.
“It was really just a sprint home from there, but it wasn’t the plan – John made that decision and it was a good drive in the end.”
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The two-time Group 1 winner improved her record to eight wins and two minor placings from 12 starts, amassing more than $250,000 in stakes.
The current 2YO Queensland Pacer of the Year will now work towards the $50,000 Changeover South East Oaks on July 11, which received Group 2 status last month.
“She won’t have a run now until the Oaks, she doesn’t need it and I can just work her a bit at Albion,” Woodmansey said.
“She doesn’t work overly hard in trackwork so she’ll just have a break now until the big race – it will be a good race!
“Our main goal was the APG and the Breeder’s Challenge, but they got put off as a result of COVID-19.
“It all got a bit mucked up but that left us with the Oaks.”
Woodmansey didn’t rule out a quick back-up for Pelosi after the Oaks, with the Group 2 Garrards South East Derby taking place on 18 July but was more interested in another race on the same card.
“There’s a fillies and mares race on the same night, and Governor Jujon is a very good horse (in the Derby),” she said.
“I can’t believe how good she is really, I’m a bit in awe of her because she is getting up to Open class herself.
“She hates getting beaten and she’s definitely got a bit of an attitude.”
Meanwhile, Fond Memories did her Oaks preparation no harm with an eye-catching run in the same race.
Dixon sat the filly on the outside of the third pair for the majority of the race, before peeling our three-wide on the final turn.
The three-year-old sprinted home down the outside lane to fall just short of Pelosi, but ensured a tantalising re-match in the Oaks next Saturday evening is not to be missed.
The lead up to the Oaks now shifts Friday night at Albion Park where Jiggle And Jive, the winner of the 2019 2YO QBRED Triad for Fillies, tunes up for her tilt at the title.