Dean Braun enhanced his reputation as one of Australia's most astute young trainers when Dazed And Confused scored a stirring win tonight's Australian Pacing Gold 3YO Fillies Final at Moonee Valley.
The 32-year-old from Lara experienced Group 1 success for the first time when the daughter ofoutclassed most of Australia's best fillies to claim the $100,000 feature.
The victory was the culmination of a canny plan by Braun. He deliberately bypassed several of the feature fillies events earlier in the year and reaped the rewards in tonight's 2100-metre event.
"We tried to have her up for the Crown, but we didn't have much luck during the Crown, so I just backed off her afterwards and she was right on top of her game today," Braun said of the filly who is part-owned by Brisbane Lions midfielder Travis Johnstone.
"We haven't knocked her around all season and she was as good as I've had her all season tonight."
That freshness enabled Dazed And Confused to dash home along the sprint lane and deny Kept For Pleasure an APG tiara to go with her pair of Oaks victories.
Despite Kept For Pleasure strolling through the first half of the last mile in 64.5 seconds, Dazed And Confused outsprinted her in a 56-second last 800m. That included a dazzling 27.3-second last quarter for a mile rate of 2:00.5.
On the line the $3.50 second favourite had a half-neck to spare over Kept For Pleasure ($2.40 fav) with another New South Wales raider, Lady Lexus, 1-1/2 metres away in third spot.
Braun was just as thrilled as the punters who crunched Dazed And Confused from $3.60 into $2.80 with TAB Sportsbet during the week with the way Dazed And Confused finished off the race.
"I panicked a bit early on when they ran a 33 (second) quarter and I thought we probably wouldn't get the winner because I thought we'd have to a run a 55-and-a-half last half to get her and that's almost what she did," Braun said.