HRSA - Dream accomplished in $150,000 Victoria Oaks

She is one of Australia’s top harness racing drivers yet Kate Gath had never won the Victoria Oaks.

That was until the 39-year-old reinswoman captured the $150,000 Group 1 with Captaintreacherous filly Encipher at Melton tonight (Oct. 8).

“I haven’t won an Oaks before, so to win one is good to tick off the bucket list,” said Gath.

“She’s been such a good horse to me and the owners are here from Adelaide, so it’s a really good night.”

Encipher has won eight races in her 15 starts and four of those victories have been under the guidance of Gath, including the Breeders Crown Final last year.

And tonight was their night again as Gath and Encipher worked their way to the lead in the 2760m feature and remained there.

The quarters were 31.8, 30.3, 27.6 and 27.5 seconds, enough for Encipher to hold out her stablemate Petillante by more than two metres in a rate of 1:56, giving trainer Emma Stewart the quinella in the time-honoured classic.

Amore Vita was third.

“Providing we got a little breather, and she got that, I was pretty confident in the run,” Gath said.

“I knew Petillante was three fence and it would get home really good, once we got that cheap sectional it was her race to lose.

“She’s has a lot of hard racing and it was good to get on the fence tonight in a big one.”

This win made Encipher her sire’s second highest Australian money earner, behind tonight’s other Group winner, Tough Tilly.

As for Gath, she has now won 49 Group 1 races while Stewart has trained 101 Group 1 winners.

Story: Harnesslink

Photo: Stuart McCormick