Star trainer Chris Waller brought up his 121st Group 1 success on Saturday after Hungry Heart landed the prize in the Vinery Stud Stakes [2000m].
The second Group 1 winner in Australia for superhorse Frankel, Hungry Heart followed up on her narrow victory in the Phar Lap Stakes when making a long sustained run in the feature event.
Settled at the rear under Kerrin McEvoy, Hungry Heart gave favourite Harmony Rose a sizable start on straightening and while the perceived bias was against, after assessing the race sectionals she was the beneficiary of the fast tempo.
Race favourite Harmony Rose simply went too quick in front and as a result was left a sitting shot late.
The week delay also probably didn't help Harmony Rose as went into the Vinery with four weeks between runs as opposed to the originally scheduled three.
Hungry Heart was one of few horses on the day to make ground at Rosehill out-wide and while the tempo did suit, she still had to go out and do it.
Waller first won the Vinery Stud Stakes with Verry Elleegant in 2019 before she went on to complete the Vinery Stud Stakes/ATC Oaks double.
So where to now for Hungry Heart? Does she go to the Oaks or does Waller drop her back in trip?
Waller has won six of the last seven Phar Lap Stakes starting with Winx in 2015 and followed by Foxplay (2017), Unforgotten (2018), Verry Elleegant (2019), Funstar (2020) and now Hungry Heart.
Of those six all went on to contest the Vinery with their subsequent starts as follows:
- Winx (5th - Vinery/2nd - Oaks)
- Foxplay (4th - Vinery/1st - Queen Of The Turf)
- Unforgotten (2nd - Vinery/1st Oaks)
- Verry Elleegant (1st - Vinery/1st Oaks)
- Funstar (4th Vinery/2nd Queen Of The Turf).
While no exact science you would suggest she will press on to the Oaks judging by what Waller has done in the past.
The two fillies he dropped back in trip (Foxplay/Funstar) didn't stay in the Vinery, whereas the same can't be said for Hungry Heart.
Saturday's Vinery was a true staying test and she rose to the occasion.
Rated 113 by Timeform she sits just below the winning average for the last five years and is now the fourth market elect in the Oaks.
The lean at this stage would be to Montefilia as while she would have to back up off the Derby, if she did she is the one to beat.
The pair have met three times with Montefilia currently leading the ledger 2:1.