Team Cole Dominate New Zealand Oaks Heats

The 2020 edition of the Fitz Sports Bar New Zealand Oaks consisted of four very even heats on Thursday night at Addington Raceway. Not many could have foreseen what would unfold over the course of the night however, as a Lisa Cole runner would fill the top two podium spots in each heat. The only trainer to travel from outside the Canterbury region, Team Cole looked poised for a decent night with their promising group of young bitches that have done nothing but impress in the North Island. Team Cole has produced another history-making achievement and they will take the Group One Final this Thursday night, the only question remaining is, what dog will cross the line first?

This week's Final will mark a decade since the Cole trained superstar Little Mother took out the New Zealand Oaks, and five years since they prepared Aeroplane Ritzy to victory in the 2015 edition. Heat 1 saw the potential favourite for next weeks final, Big Time Brie, absolutely sizzle to the back mark in 17.65s, setting up a massive lead to the corner where kennel mate Nova Willow finished strongly into second place. Big Time Brie’s explosive early sectionals from Wanganui have definitely carried over to Addington, and her overall time of 30.24s will be very tough to beat providing she can set up a big lead again. Goldstar Wynter for Steve and Bonnie Evans was brave in her toughest race to date finishing third.


After sprinting for her first seven career starts, Big Time Lantao has relished the step up to the middle distance journey, beginning her races very well and sustaining a solid run home. After being luckless in her track debut the week before, she landed on the pace railing underneath kennel mate Jilliby Litsa, setting a 17.88s split to the back mark. Big Time Lantao has picked up a dozen wins from only 17 starts with a 30.40s victory holding out a very brave Jilliby Litsa, who ran home gamely in her track debut. Cole would train the trifecta with as many runners as Big Time Gina was not all that far away for her third placing.


Lisa Cole would prepare only two runners for the third heat. Big Time Maple who lead on her track debut before tangling with kennel mate Big Time Lantao, and Bigtime Daisy who would make her track debut after some encouraging runs over the middle distance at Wanganui. Big Time Daisy would be left in front after the leading division ran wide on the first corner impeding the progress of well-fancied Jean and Dave Fahey runners Opawa Cutie and Beret Girl. Big Time Maple weaved through the trouble and set out after the tearaway leader, leaving her run to the last stride, out finishing Bigtime Daisy by the barest of margins. Kiwi Gunn for Daniel Lane filled out third place as the 30.87s time was indicative of the trouble many dogs encountered on the first corner.


The final heat of the Fitz Sports Bar 2020 New Zealand Oaks completed one of the more unlikely occurrences in Group One Racing history, as Big Time Vegas and Big Time Elsa made up the final two spots. Big Time Vegas took over down the back straight after a lightning beginning from Big Time Elsa setting the time standard of 30.21s. Black Stockings for Ashley Bradshaw found the line well finishing third. Big Time Vegas demonstrated tenacity in her win, as she has struggled in the past to hold onto leads over middle distance races. With an abundance of early pace this weeks final should be incredibly compelling.


Written by Shane Kendall

Posted on 24 August 2020

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