Dalziel Racing’s Autumn Angel won the Australian Oaks on one of the biggest race days on the Australian Racing Calendar. Autumn Angel is a mighty filly, and she well and truly stole the show in a thrilling Group 1 at Royal Randwick.

This is the filly’s fourth win from only nine starts, plus she boasts a further four placings, earning stakes of $1,129,790 for Dalziel Racing and her ownership group.

Impressively Autumn Angel’s results include:

  1. The Group 3 Ethereal Stakes over 2000m at Caulfield in October 2023
  2. The Group 2 Kewney Stakes over 1600m at Flemington in November 2023
  • Placings in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes and the second in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes also at Royal Randwick.

The Unusual Preparation

Autumn Angel’s victory in the Group 1 Australian Oaks followed an unusual series of lead up races.

Dalziel Racing, in conjunction with trainers Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman, had to completely change their plans after Autumn Angel was a shock race day scratching only 40 minutes before the Vinery Stud Stakes, the traditional lead-up race for  the Australian Oaks.

That left Autumn Angel needing to run just a week out from the Australian Oaks in the Adrian Knox Stakes, where she ran a gallant second with the proverbial grandstand of 61kg on her back. Seven days later, despite the short back up, the daughter of The Autumn Sun soared to victory, defeating last year’s VRC Oaks champ Zardozi and New Zealand Derby winner Orchestral.



The Championship Performance

Autumn Angel’s performance in the Australian Oaks was described by pundits as nothing short of spectacular. Autumn Angel announced herself as Australasia’s premier staying filly winning the $1 million Group 1 Australian Oaks.

For example, one posted :

Autumn Angel’s performance, backing up from her courageous Adrian Knox S. G3 second last Saturday, was franked by the quality of her opposition: she defeated the VRC Oaks Gr1 winner Zardozi, the race favourite and New Zealand Derby Gr1 & Storm Queen S. Gr1 winner Orchestral, Levin Classic Gr1 winner Quintessa, valiant Storm Queen runner-up Tutta La Vita and VRC Oaks 3rd Basilinna.

Their praise continued :

With all the fancies in the firing line at the 200m, Autumn Angel displayed her staying credentials as she surged clear under Mark Zahra to defeat the Victoria Oaks winner Zardozi (Kingman) by three-quarters of a length with the NZ Derby and Vinery Stud Stakes winner Orchestral (Savabeel) a head back in third.


Great Ride From Mark Zahra

Jockey Mark Zahra revealed his strategy for the race. He planned to be behind Orchestral in the run and hoped to ambush that filly late in the race.

From barrier 8, Autumn Angel was slow away, settling at the back of the 10-runner field before making a forward move approaching the home turn.

Experiencing trouble turning into the home straight, Zahra switched his mount out at the 300-metre point where she was sandwiched between both Orchestral and Zardozi, eventually pulling clear of those two awesome fillies inside the final 50 meters to win by almost a length.


Peter Moody, Trainer For Dalziel Was Full Of Praise

Ironically Peter Moody won another Group 1 the week before at Randwick with Chain of Lightning winning the TJ Smith Stakes. This was Peter Moody’s 58th Group 1 win.

Moody, who is now in a training partnership with Katherine Coleman was excited with the win of Autumn Angel, it being his first Group 1 winner with Wylie Dalziel and Dalziel Racing.

“It was great for Wylie (Dalziel) who has been a great stable supporter.”

“A big special thanks to my team at home and to the Randwick track staff, what a phenomenal job they have done over the last couple of weeks under trying circumstances. Last Saturday was phenomenal and to back it up with this track today, congratulations to Michael Wood and his team.”


Wylie Dalziel & Peter Moody Selected Autumn Angel As a Yearling

Peter Moody and Wylie Dalziel jointly selected Autumn Angel, who was a $230,000 buy for Dalziel Racing from the Arrowfield Stud draft at the 2022 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

She is the best of three winners from four to race for the Group 3 winner Angel Of Mercy (Hussonet), whose career came to a close when second to Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara.

Autumn Angel is the first Group 1 winner for young sire and the 5-time Group 1 winner The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice).

She was bred by Arrowfield Stud whose Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer, said after the Oaks, “What a beautiful filly, out of a great mare and just a great pedigree going forward…It’s great for the stallion, we’ve always had great belief in him and he’s really starting to deliver.

“She’s top-class this filly. We’ve always felt The Autumn Sun’s progeny would be horses that when we got to these Classic races they’d come into their own and what a performance that was.

“I think that’s one of the strongest Oaks I’ve ever seen…the first five across the line could win any normal Oaks in any other year.”

What’s Next?

Autumn Angel has earned herself a short recovery session with the ‘autumn sun’ on her back up in Brisbane.

All going well, she’ll probably run in the Queensland Derby in June.


Thanks To The Owners & Trainer

Autumn Angel’s victory at the Australian Oaks was a real team effort.

Wylie Dalziel extended his thanks to his loyal ownership group who were so supportive when she was scratched from the VRC Oaks last year then experienced a mishap moments before the Vinery in Sydney.

Dalziel thanks Peter Moody, Katherine Coleman and all their staff at Pakenham as well as Mark Zahra for his fine rides on Autumn Angel.


Autumn Angel
3f The Autumn Sun (AUS) x Angel Of Mercy (AUS) (Hussonet (USA))

Trainers:            P G Moody & Katherine Coleman

Jockey:               Mark  Zahra
Auction :            Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale $230,000
Vendor:              Arrowfield Stud, Scone
Buyer:                 Dalziel Racing and Moody Racing