Cambridge — the Group One centre

Sofia Rosa (Hugh Bowman) winning the Australian Oaks and providing Cambridge with yet another Group One success.

Sofia Rosa (Hugh Bowman) winning the Australian Oaks and providing Cambridge with yet another Group One success.

Cambridge is continuing its standing as the home of Group One winners thanks to a courageous performance by Sofia Rosa in the $A1 million Australian Oaks at Randwick yesterday.

Sofia Rosa gave trainer Stephen Marsh his biggest thrill in racing and added to a huge day for rider Hugh Bowman (four wins including a Group Two and Group Three) when beating Ambience in the 2400-metre classic.

The win came a week after another couple of Cambridge “young guns,” Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, landed the Gr. 1 $A2 million Australian Derby with Tavago on the first day of the Championships meeting.

Twelve months earlier Mongolian Khan, prepared by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, won the Australian Derby, a race the Baker stable had taken two years earlier with Dundeel and in 2008 with Nom du Jeu. And earlier this season Mongolian Khan brought the Caulfield Cup back to Cambridge with a superb performance.

Cambridge’s list of Group One success on both sides of the Tasman includes Melbourne Cups and most of the major races, and is too long to list here. But in recent years it does also include Dundeel’s win in Sydney’s 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which was won impressively yesterday by Lucia Valentina, who began her career with Marsh.

Before being transferred to the Newcastle stable of Kris Lees, Lucia Valentina had showed her class when winning the Wellington Stakes for Marsh and bounced back from a fall in the Great Northern Guineas at Ellerslie on Boxing Day 2013 to finish second to Rising Romance six days later in the Gr. 2 NZ Bloodstock Royal Stakes.

It was almost a case of deja vue with Sofia Rosa for Marsh and owner Lib Petagna as she also fell in her Boxing Day lead-up to the Gr.2 Royal Stakes. That fall came in the Gr. 2 Eight Carat Classic last year and she recovered to win the Royal Stakes.

Lucia Valentina went on to finish third behind Rising Romance in the 2014 Australian Oaks and it was a huge thrill for Petagna and his bloodstock manager, Bruce Perry, to go two better with Sofia Rosa in the classic.