A chance to bag back-to-back wins in the New Zealand Oaks before he moves to Hong Kong moved a step closer for Jamie Richards on Wednesday when Self Obsession laid down her credentials at the top of the betting for the Group 1 race with yet another game victory.
A win in the Group 2 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes at Hastings was the fourth time on the bounce she had struck, and with three of those wins coming in stakes company, she is now a 6/4 chance to land the Group 1 Oaks at Trentham on 19th March.
"What a great win, gee, she's tough," Richards said. "She was able to relax off the speed, on a good tempo, and given a lovely ride by Michael (McNab).
"She was coming all the way down the straight and always looked as though she had the race within her grasp.
"She's a great staying filly, although she is no oil painting and maybe not one you'd put your hand up to buy at the yearling sales, but I'm very thankful to David Price and Jenny Chapman in Hong Kong, who bred and race her, and Mark and Vicki Baker at Hallmark Stud, for sending her down to us to train in Matamata.
"We're all really looking forward to the Oaks."
Richards, who shortly before Christmas was granted a licence to train in Hong Kong from next season, sent out the winner of last year's New Zealand Oaks in the shape of Amarelinha who subsequently crossed the Tasman to compete at the highest level in the spring.