Elle Mac wins Northern Oaks


It was a story of triumph and tragedy in Friday night’s Group 1 $125,000 Pascoes The Jewellers Northern Oaks at Alexandra Park.

Race favourite Elle Mac got a luxurious lead and recorded an easy victory in the time-honoured race.

But her main rival, Bettor Joy, suffered a nasty check shortly after the start of the 2700-metre and lost a huge stretch of ground.

It was the losing of the race for her and a huge recovery for fourth only served to remind her connections and punters of what have been.

“Character-building,” was trainer Cran Dalgety’s summation of events.

“We’ll turn the page and move on to the next one.”

Elle Mac whipped home in 56.8 and 27.0 to record a comfortable three-length victory in the hands of co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen, who prepares her with Mark Purdon.

Her time of 3.24.5 was the slowest in the nine years and underlined the sedate sectionals that Rasmussen got away with in front.

It was the third Group 1 win at Alexandra Park for Elle Mac in her short career to date, one in which she has won six races.

It’s an intriguing strike-rate and one Rasmussen says is testament to the idiosyncrasies of the filly.

“She’s quite a lazy girl and you have to really set her a target and get her wound right up for it.”

While winning a Group 1 is always a thrill, Rasmussen was slightly deflated to have learned Bettor Joy met misfortune.

“It’s always nice to win a big race but you want to see every horse get a fair chance.”

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