Pinot will go into the 2017 Kennedy Oaks as one of the leading contenders after she recorded a tough victory in the Ethereal Stakes at Caulfield this afternoon.

Stephen Baster was desperate to take up the running on Pinot in the Ethereal Stakes and she did of work to find the front, but she was eventually able to settle into a lovely rhythm.

Pinot kicked clear at the top of the straight and although she was clearly tired late her rivals never looked like catching her.

Baster admitted that he asked Pinot to do plenty of work in the early stages of the Ethereal Stakes and he was quick to pay credit to the toughness of the Pierro filly.

“She was amazing,” Baster said.

“I didn’t want to drive her out and I took my time coming across, but I really did some work and I was wide for a long time.

“Full credit to the filly and the Oaks is going to suit her down to the ground.”

Trainer Gai Waterhouse was typically bullish about Pinot in the lead-up to the Ethereal Stakes – she compared the filly to 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente – and she was delighted to see her get the job done.

Waterhouse confirmed that Pinot will head to the Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2400m) at Flemington on November and she is confident that the three-year-old can deliver her another Group 1 victory.

“She has a superb pedigree,” Waterhouse said.

“When she came down from Sydney, which was six weeks ago, I said that I was determined to win the VRC Oaks.

“This filly was beaten at her first start, but every start she just kept improving.”

Rimraam and Hiyaam filled out the placings in the Crown Oaks, while Teodora was caught wide throughout but was still able to make up good ground in the final stages of the race.