Popular jockey Kathy O’Hara produced the ride of her life to win her first Group One on Ofcourseican at Rosehill today.
O’Hara bought the Ron Quinton trained mare from well back in the field to come down the outside to score in a tight finish in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m).
Ofcourseican had a real fight over the last 200m with Secret Admirer and King’s Rose kicking up the inside but was able to hold on by a head to give O’Hara he first Group 1 win.
The win wasn’t cut and dry with Michelle Payne firing in a protest on fourth placed Yosei which was quickly dismissed.
The Mossman mare has been a great money spinner for the Quinton stable racking up her eighth win from twenty-six starts and today’s Group 1 win will add enormous value to her as a brood mare.
Quinton said the win in the Coolmore was very satisfying, having won the race as a jockey on two occasions on Miss Personality and the great mare Emancipation.
“I won the first one ever run and won it on the great mare and to train the winner of it is pretty special,” Quinton said.”
“She’s a wonderful talented galloper but she’s been her worst own enemy at times. He’s got a lot of ability and she’s got the job done today.”
“A lot more goes into it when you’re a trainer and its probably more satisfying over a period of a preparation.”
“I’ve had this mare from day one, when you’re a jockey you jump on them and jump off them and walk away.”
Ofcourseican was sent out at the good odds of $13 after scoring at her last start in Group 3 $125,000 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on March 10.
Runner up Secret Admirer started at $11 with the Peter Moody trained King’s Rose at $5.
The heavily backed Steps In Time ($3.90) was sent out favourite and looked to have the race won when Jim Cassidy kicked her away at the top of the straight but was unable to keep going and wound up in eighth spot, just over four lengths from the winner.
O’Hara rode a patient race on Ofcourseican and timed her run nicely to chime in with the leaders at 250m and was able to push her out to the line.
“I’m thrilled to bit to win this race,” O’Hara said.
“It’s great to ride a winner for Ronnie, he was a champion jockey and a champion trainer in his own right.”
“He’s great to ride for and you go out there with confidence, he doesn’t over instruct you and he has plenty of faith in the riders he puts on.
“She sprinted up really quickly and I thought she was going to put them away but the last 100m she might have had a enough but she stuck her head out when it countered.”