Frankel filly shows plenty of Heart to claim Classic honours

Written by
Paul Vettise/TDN AusNZ

Hungry Heart (Frankel {GB}) proved herself to be the superior 3-year-old staying filly in the country when she completed a stunning Group 1 double with victory in The Star Australian Oaks at Randwick.

Bred and raced by Yulong, the Chris Waller-trained Hungry Heart has progressively improved as she has stepped up in distance after winning the G2 Phar Lap S. over a mile and then claimed the G1 Vinery Stud S. over 2000 metres.

She handled an extra 400 metres with aplomb on Saturday to reign supreme in the Classic and credit her Juddmonte-based sire Frankel (GB) with a black-type double after his son Converge had earlier landed the Listed The Agency Real Estate Mile.

“As we said after her first Group 1 win a couple of weeks back, the international stage is what racing is all about and people are recognising Australian racing for all the right reasons,” Waller said.

“When you have a Frankel filly winning an Australian Oaks, it’s pretty special.”

For Waller, it was the 123rd Group 1 victory of his remarkable training career and his fourth Australian Oaks.

Hungry Heart won the G2 Sweet Embrace S. as a 2-year-old and also finished fifth in the G1 Golden Slipper S. and Waller said that was a tribute to the stable’s approach and the hard work of his staff.

“It’s a good advertisement for our system, we had her running in a Golden Slipper and now she’s at the extreme distance as a 3-year-old filly so thanks to my team and obviously a great ride from Kerrin McEvoy.”

Hungry Heart settled in fifth spot and one off the fence and was idling along across the top behind a sedate pace set up by Josh Parr aboard Harmony Rose (Glass Harmonium {Ire}).

“She was able to step nicely from the barrier and lob into a spot not far from the front so I was happy there,” McEvoy said.

“It was a different race from the last one (Vinery) at Rosehill and Josh rated his horse quite cannily in front. I wasn’t worried because I was in a position where I could move into it.”

Full of Heart

Hungry Heart loomed ominously into contention soon after straightening and rounded off strongly over the closing 300 metres.

“She was full of running from the 600 metre mark onwards and at the top of the lane I thought they would be going to beat me and she duly went on and won the race,” said McEvoy, who celebrated the 79th Group 1 victory of his time in the saddle.

“Full credit to Chris and his team, she’s a sweet filly and has gone from strength to strength this time in.”