The tough mare OAKWOOD LADY was having her fourth run in twenty four days and only eight days after claiming victory at her previous run at Mudgee, she chalked up another win at Queanbeyan on Monday 11th September 2017.
In front of her younger half sisters, Celtic Diamond and Miss Breffni, who were racing on the same program, “big sister” made light of the extra distance (260m) and the additional 3.5kgs she had to carry in producing another fine, winning performance.
It was grand to see the strong representation of the owners colours, the green, white and orange of the Flag Of Ireland at the track which is located in the South East Region of New South Wales approximately eighteen kilometres from Canberra.
Today’s race, the Queanbeyan Travel Benchmark 55 Handicap 1460m was race four on seven race card. With Brendan Ward in the saddle, OAKWOOD LADY would jump three from the outside which was barrier eleven and her allocated weight was 57.5kgs. The track was rated a Good 3.
The gates opened with OAKWOOD LADY jumping on par with the field, Brendan from his wide barrier remained three to four horses off the fence running fourth. The pair, setting nicely, stayed wide eventually getting into two wide shortly after leaving the 1200m marker behind them.
It was then that Mossy Girl scooted around the field to take up the running, Brendan quite happy to stay in fourth position only 2 1/2 lengths off the leader and maintain his rhythm.
The moves began 800 metres from home. OAKWOOD LADY was asked by her rider to up the tempo and she responded allowing Brendan to put them three horses wide outside the leader (Mossy Girl) with Our Brown Eyed Gal between them.
On rounding the home turn, the duo were out in the middle of the track and quickening strongly. The other two leading runners were dropping off. The locally trained Hercegovka was coming hard along the fence and the $3.80 favourite Singled Out was one horse further out than OAKWOOD LADY and poised to hit the line hard.
With 100 metres to go Brendan had OAKWOOD LADY full of running and nearly 1 1/2 lengths clear … victory was theirs. Hercegovka stuck on for second and with Singled Out’s run ending, finishing third. The 1460 metres was covered in 1:26.90 the 600m sectional took 35.64. The winning margin 1.37 lengths with a further 1/2 length to the third horse.
A job well done by Brendan Ward, a very nice ride and also to Scott and his team for having the mare spot on, it's certainly an asset having a trainer that knows his horses individually and provide the care and work load they need to produce their best.
To Seamus, Paul and Ben congratulations to you all again, your mare has done you proud and showed her “baby sisters” the way it’s done. Hopefully their turn will come to make it two on the trot. We wish you every success for the future.