TOP Victorian trainer David Hayes made it a clean sweep of the three-year-old fillies Listed races when Global Balance won a thrilling PFD Food services Tasmanian oaks over 2100 metres at The TOTE Racing centre in Launceston on Wednesday night.
Hayes prepared Green Roller to win the $100,000 Strutt Stakes in Hobart but winning the Oaks was a much tougher task for Global balance.
It was a race packed with action and suspense with plenty of early interference and more to match in the home straight and after a thrilling final 100 metres that saw local filly Settler’s Joy run down by the eventual winner and First Bloom.
Then the rider of First Bloom, Michelle Payne, fired in a protest against the winner claiming interference from the winning post to the 1600-metre mark the first time around had cost her the race.
Stewards deliberated for almost a 30 minutes before deciding that the interference did not warrant them reversing the placings.
Global Balance is raced by Jonathon Munze of the Pinecliff racing Syndicates of which former Launceston Cup-winning trainer Rod Douglas is manager.
Douglas trainer Larry’s Never late to win the 2011 AAMI Launceston Cup.
He later switched professions to turn manager of Pinecliff Racing that has over a dozen horses in work with a number of trainers.
The syndicate also owns Strutt Stakes winner Green Roller.
Douglas was thrilled with the win.
“This makes up for the Strutt Stakes when the saddle slipped and she finished fifth,” Douglas said.
“This is her first preparation so she’s done a very good job.”
“She might have a little freshen-up and head to the Queensland Oaks but we will wait and see how she comes through this trip to Tassie and then assess things in a week or so,” he said.
First Bloom and the winner engaged in a bumping duel 200 metres from home and while the were buffeting each other Craig Newitt was getting the most out of Settler’s Joy.
The Troy Blacker-trained filly copped two nasty checks from the 1600-1500-metre pegs and when the pace slackened appreciably Newitt opted to send Settler’s Joy around the field and she strolled past the leader Papillon to take control 1000 metres out.
All three placegetters gave their all over the final 100 metres with Global balance emerging victorious by a half-head from First Bloom with Settler’s Joy a half length astern.
Weir was pleased with First Bloom’s effort and he and rider Payne accepted the stewards’ decision on the protest but both were confident it was going to be upheld.
Global balance was ridden by Steven Baster who was full of admiration for his filly.
“She’s tough and really put her head out to win right on the line,” Baster said.
While the winner will probably head to Queensland, First Bloom will stay in work and be aimed at races in Victoria and possibly South Australia, Settler’s Joy will be spelled.