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Gr1 Aust Oaks Winner Daffodil Begins Cups Campaign
Also at Hastings yesterday, dual Gr1-winning NZB 3YO Filly-Of-The-Year Daffodil (No Excuse Needed-Spring, by O'Reilly) began her campaign towards the upcoming Spring carnival features on both sides of the Tasman with a brilliant 1st-up effort in a 1200m sprint against older horses. In her 1st start since winning April's Gr1 AJC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick in Sydney, Daffodil (ridden by 4kg-claiming apprentice Aimee Taylor for trainer Kevin Gray) finished runner-up by a neck in a 3-way photo-finish behind 12-time-winning 6YO mare Woodbury Belle. Gray confirmed Daffodil (among the early favourites for the major Melbourne Spring Carnival races during October-November) is being aimed initially at NZ's Gr1 Mudgway Partsworld Stakes (1400m) at Hastings on August 29 & Gr1 Kelt Capital Stakes (2040m) at Hastings in October, prior to a final decision on her potential Australian targets. Daffodil currently boasts 6 wins (also including the Gr1 NZB 1000 Guineas over 1600m at Riccarton Park) & 5 placings (also including the Gr3 First Sovereign Trust Lowland Stakes over 2100m at Trentham, Gr3 NZB Gold Trail Stakes over 1200m at Hastings & Listed Wanganui Fillies Stakes over 1200m at Wanganui) from 17 starts for NZ$688,983 earnings.