Winning smile … apprentice Lauren Stojakovic celebrates after producing a perfect ride to guide Miracles Of Life to victory in the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
EMOTIONAL scenes rarely seen on a racecourse broke out on Saturday minutes after a little-known apprentice and a nuggety filly combined to win Victoria's most important two-year-olds' race, the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes.
Lauren Stojakovic, a mature-aged South Australian apprentice, combined with the unbeaten Miracles Of Life to record one of the most amazing group 1 victories in decades.
Together with trainer Daniel Clarken, they managed to defy opposition from some of the most powerful stables in Australia and might have also raced themselves into Golden Slipper contention later in the autumn.
However, Clarken and Stojakovic were not pondering what will come later with Miracles Of Life, they would rather bathe in the joy of their emotional victory.
''I leaned down and said to her [Miracles Of Life], 'you are either a minute away from goodness or greatness', and after we passed the line I told her, 'and now we are group 1 winners','' Stojakovic said. ''When I won the other day at Caulfield my family and friends were crying but today, I've got to say, that I'm crying with them. She did everything perfectly, just as I knew she would.''
Stojakovic's family flew from Adelaide to Melbourne to watch Lauren and they were not let down, nor were any punters around Australia as the 29-year-old produced one of the most brilliant rides in Blue Diamond history.
''There was a lot of media build-up, a lot of hype and I suppose a lot of pressure, but she answered just like we thought and you couldn't ask for a better ride, could you?'' Clarken said.
Many wondered if, when up against some of Australia's most polished riders, Stojakovic could be found wanting, but it was the complete opposite.
After beginning well, Miracles Of Life was positioned about three lengths from the early blistering speed but with 600m to go she managed to exploit an opening just before the home turn and from then on Miracles Of Life did the rest.
The win was the filly's fourth straight success and she is now perhaps the best two-year-old filly in Australia. The question now remains whether the daughter of Not A Single Doubt will be at Rosehill to contest the Golden Slipper.
Even trainer Peter Snowden, who was disappointed at the performances of his three two-year-olds in the Blue Diamond, was moved to say ''that's the best racing result you will see. Good luck to them, it's fantastic for them, you won't see any better.''
Snowden explained that his two-year-old Guelph went down on its nose just moments after the gates opened, leaving the horse three lengths behind the field and all but thwarting its chance of success.
Snowden added that Metastasio did not have the best of runs, having to be used up from a wide gate and their third competitor, Montsegur, was not well served in the run either.
Runner-up Fast 'N' Rocking, which came from second last with 800m to go, will head to the Sires Produce after his performance.
Miracles Of Life started at $3.20 favourite and scored by 1½ lengths from Fast 'N' Rocking ($26), with Godiva Rock ($17) a half-head away third. Crack A Roadie and Dissident were always well back and never came into contention.