The six-year-old brown mare, OAKWOOD LADY by California Dane out of the good-producing dam Misa Eire, discarded all of the airs and graces associated with a lady yesterday 3rd September at the Mudgee Racecourse located in the Central Western region of New South Wales.
As tough as they come, OAKWOOD LADY was having her third race start in just sixteen days after runs at Bathurst and Canberra, produced a gutsy, get down to business winning performance in the last race of the day, the Happy Father's Day Benchmark 55 Handicap run over the distance of 1200m.
Actually one could say that it was a Happy “Parents” Day with the “Dads” Seamus, Paul and Ben receiving a grand Father’s Day Gift as well as “Mum” - Misa Eire having three of her “kids” (6yo Oakwood Lady, 5yo Celtic Diamond and 4yo Miss Breffni ), all owned by the same folk, race within two days … that’s got to be some kind of record !.
Being in one of the drier regions in the state of New South Wales, Mudgee’s track was rated a Firm 2. Bobby El-Issa had been declared the rider of OAKWOOD LADY. Her allocated weight was 54kgs and the pair had drawn barrier five out of eleven.
The duo jumped with the field and were in front at the 1100 metres mark. Bobby then eased his mount to settle third on the rail approximately two lengths from the leader Prettylittlefellow. It was status quo until the field had 600 metres still to run and the speed began to quicken.
Upon rounding the home turn, with just over 400 metres to go and a heavy shower of rain to boot, the jockey had OAKWOOD LADY primed for her charge to the line, gradually upping the tempo. Shortly afterward horse and rider managed to gain a run into an opening that appeared in front of them.
On straightening, the field were heading for home in earnest, OAKWOOD LADY had hit the lead and was full of running. Keeping her mind on the job, Bobby and his ride were at least two lengths to the second horse Prettylittlefellow, when they passed the 200 metres pole.
A couple of slaps on the shoulder and the urgings of her jockey saw OAKWOOD LADY go on to win by just on a length, after being eased down close to the post. Second place was taken by the fast finishing $2.15 favourite Lifeline Princess with Lady Lobban getting to the post strongly along the fence in third.
It was a fine effort from a mare with a Benchmark 42 rating being successful in a Benchmark 55 Handicap. Congratulations to the owners and family members Seamus, Paul and Ben. Also to Bobby El-Issa for a heady ride and to OAKWOOD LADY herself … as tough as they come.