She's Extreme shines in Kennedy Oaks

3 November 2022 Written by VRC

Class rose to the fore at Flemington Racecourse today as more than 45,000 racegoers watched She’s Extreme take out the Kennedy Oaks.

Class rose to the fore in the Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse today as more than 45,000 racegoers watched She’s Extreme take out her second top-level feature in the fillies’ classic for trainer Anthony Cummings and jockey Tommy Berry, both first time winners of the $1 million contest.

Cummings joins his grandfather Jim, father Bart and son James as an Oaks-winning trainer, continuing the family’s association with the Melbourne Cup Carnival that stretches to almost a century.

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said it was wonderful to see the Cummings name go back to back in the time-honoured Kennedy Oaks, a race older than the Lexus Melbourne Cup.  

“The Kennedy Oaks is the ultimate test for a three-year-old filly and She’s Extreme proved once again just how classy she is,” Mr Rosich said.

“It takes a special horse to win a stakes race at 1200m as a two year old and then to emerge as an Oaks winner months later and She’s Extreme has joined a select group of fillies to achieve the feat.

“The Cummings name is synonymous with the Melbourne Cup Carnival and Flemington, and it is remarkable to see another chapter written in that terrific story. Jim Cummings won the Oaks in 1928 with Opera Queen and few could have thought, nearly a century later, his grandson would be winning the race, a year after his great-grandson also won the race.”

The Racing

On the undercard one of the strongest performances came from rising star Charm Stone in the $200,000 Group 3 Darley Ottawa Stakes (1000m) for two-year-old fillies. The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained filly made the most of race experience to come a length and three-quarters clear of impressive debutant Empress Of Wonder under jockey Damien Lane.

Charm Stone was the first leg of a race-to-race double for prominent bloodstock agent Sheamus Mills with his mare Roots, trained by Chris Waller and ridden by James McDonald, successful in the $250,000 Inglis Bracelet (1600m), restricted to graduates of thoroughbred auction house Inglis.

A competitive group of three-year-old sprinting fillies contested the $300,000 10 News First Red Roses Stakes (1100m) with South Australia’s Aitch Two Oh causing an upset for trainers Richard and Chantelle Jolly.

A previous Oaks-winning horseman, Kris Lees, returned to Flemington for his first Kennedy Oaks Day victory in eight years. Lees, successful in the 2008 Oaks with Samantha Miss, took out the $175,000 Listed Off the Track Desirable Stakes (1400m) with Razeta racing clear under Hugh Bowman.

There was a strong country flavour with Warrnambool trainer Matthew Williams scoring the most lucrative success of his career when taking the $500,000 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final (1600m) with promising mare Toregene, while former Hong Kong galloper Joyful Fortune maintained his unbeaten record at Flemington by taking the $175,000 Listed G.H. Mumm Century Stakes (1000m), a race with a history of unveiling future Group 1 winners.

After 28 of 37 races this Melbourne Cup Carnival, James McDonald continues to lead the Ron Hutchinson Award for jockeys on 28 points - 16 clear of nearest rival Damien Oliver - while an exciting finish awaits in the JB Cummings Award for trainers with Ciaron Maher and David Eustace on 17.5 points, just ahead of Waller on 14 and James Cummings on 13.

The Fashion

Off track the Myer Fashions on the Field competition reached its crescendo with the National Finals of the inaugural gender-neutral Best Dressed and Best Suited categories hosted live in The Park. 

Bernadette May from Geraldton in Western Australia reigned supreme in the Best Dressed category, wearing a floral full length dress by Bambah and hat by Peacock Millinery.  The Best Suited category was won by 2020 national winner, Sherlon Garbo from Darwin in the Northern Territory.  Sherlon won wearing a skirt suit that was his own creation.  Both take home a fabulous suite of fabulous prizes including a brand-new Lexus UX 200 2WD Luxury vehicle.

The Birdcage

The world-renowned Birdcage Enclosure played host to an array of celebrities including AFL footballer Christian Petracca in Kennedy, racing royalty Kate Waterhouse and Emma Freedman in Lexus, media personality Nikki Phillips in G.H.Mumm, supermodel Nicole Trunfio and Melbourne Cup Carnival Ambassadors Diana Chan,  Christian Wilkins and father Richard Wilkins in Villa Paradiso.

The stars of the Australian Equestrian Team also stepped out including eight-time Olympian Andrew Hoy, his Tokyo team-mate Shane Rose, Australian team-mate from this year’s World Championships Shenae Lowings, Sydney Olympian and VRC Ambassador Amanda Ross and New Zealand eventer Brittany Fowler. They were joined by six-time Olympic dressage rider Mary Hanna and dual Paralympian and VRC Ambassador Emma Booth.

The Park

The Park Live Stage played host to an epic lineup including DJ Sunshine and her Disco Faith Choir, Australian dance music royalty Sneaky Sound System and techno pioneers Carl Cox and Eric Powell who combined as a house duo with Carl & Eric’s Hot Sauce.

The Community

The Melbourne Cup Carnival’s Pin & Win campaign has raised nearly $7 million for charities so far and this year will see pins sold across the course for new charity partner, Australian Childhood Foundation. The commemorative pins cost $5 for the Cup pin and $10 for the diamante horseshoe, with all purchasers eligible to enter the draw to win over $130,000 worth of prizes including a brand new 2022 Lexus NX 350h 2WD F Sport Hybrid.

This year the Melbourne Cup Carnival is also partnering with GIVIT to support the many flood-impacted people and communities around Australia. Throughout Cup Week, racing fans can donate via the dedicated GIVIT website.

What's Next?

The Melbourne Cup Carnival continues with Australia’s newest championship race day and eagerly anticipated TAB Champions Stakes Day on Saturday. The card is set to feature 23 Group 1 winners going head to head across a series of championship contests with three Group 1 races set to determine Australasia’s best horse at 1200m, 1600m and 2000m.

Headline acts include Nature Strip and Giga Kick in the Darley Champions Sprint, Alligator Blood and Mr Brightside in the Kennedy Champions Mile and Anamoe and Zaaki in the TAB Champions Stakes.