Feiss living an amazing dream with star filly

By Garrick Knight

Mighty filly Amazing Dream solidified her billing as the best of her crop with a near-record run win in the Group 1 $115,000 Pascoes Northern Oaks at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

With three of her main adversaries – Dr Susan, Stylish Memphis and Spellbound absent, the daughter of Bettor’s Delight franked her $1.12 favouitism with bookies by winning comfortably in the hands of co-trainer, Natalie Rasmussen.

The win continued an astonishingly good run for her owner, Melbourne’s Jean Feiss, who made the trip to across the Tasman for the race.

“It’s great to win an Oaks and it’s nice to have a nice filly,” she told HRNZ.

“They’re hard to come by but I’ve been very lucky in the past.

“It gives you a lot of satisfaction. I’m very proud of the horse and how could you not be?”

Feiss also won the Northern Oaks two years ago with Elle Mac.

Sure luck is part of the equation but there can be no escaping that Feiss is arguably the greatest judge of a yearling in Australasia.

Out of 19 auction ring purchases between 2014 and 2019, Feiss found eight Group 1 winners – Amazing Dream, Spanish Armada, Elle Mac, Vincent, Self Assured, Jesse Duke, Smooth Deal and Chase The Dream.

Add to that the Group 1-placed Sicario and Virgil and it’s quite a scary resume.

Of course, Feiss is modest when discussing her results, though admits she takes great pride in them.

“I used to train horses so I guess I know what puts them together.

“It’s just how I feel about them, really.

“It’s not one thing that I look for, just a combination of a lot of things about the horse when I look at it.”

Amazing Dream cost $77,500 at the 2018 Christchurch sale and by Feiss’ own admission, did not have a lot of size about her at the time, but she was the full sister to her former gun youngster, Chase The Dream.

The result is a horse that’s now won four Group 1s and over half-a-million dollars with a heck of a lot more to come.

“She just loves to run.

“She was never a big horse and she still isn’t, but she has grown bigger than I thought she probably would have.

“But as Mark (Purdon, co-trainer) said originally, she’s big enough if she’s good enough.

“It’s her attitude that makes her such a lovely racehorse – she loves it out there.”

It’s easy to draw parallels between Amazing Dream and a previous star filly of Feiss’ in Spanish Armada, who fashioned a similarly dominant record and was on the same upward trajectory as a three-year-old.

She was actually beaten in the 2017 Northern Oaks, a rare loss in a near-perfect season before she was retired prematurely through injury.

“Spanish Armada was very, very good too but a different type of horse.

“But so is this filly and I just don’t want to compare them.”

The win was a swift turnaround in fortunes for Feiss, who only 36 hours earlier had the misfortune of seeing her other current star, Self Assured, scratched from his Miracle Mile qualifier in Sydney with a hoof abscess.

That’s a A$1 Million race that he was favourite for. But Feiss is philosophical about it and has come to accept the rollercoaster ride that is horse ownership.

“You have to take the good with the bad. People think it’s all good, but there’s a lot of bad, too.”

Feiss confirmed that after preliminary post-race discussions with Rasmussen, next week’s Northern Derby against the boys was on the agenda for Amazing Dream before a return to Christchurch.

So, what about the next wave of her dynasty?

“I got six yearlings this year which is more than usual.

“And there are four two-year-olds but they’re all in the paddock. That’s the way it goes but it sounds like they’ll be ready for the three-year-old races next season.”

The Oaks win continued a charmed run for Purdon and Rasmussen in the race – they have now won four of the last five while Purdon has won seven of the past 11, starting with Secret Potion in 2010.

“All credit to Mark and Nat for taking them from the yearling sales to here tonight.”

 Plutonium Lady finished off strongly for second and value black type while Princess Jessie kicked back underneath fellow Woodlands Stud-owned filly, Need You Now, for third.

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