Lester Grace retains the ride on Oakfield Commands in Show County Quality

By: Mark Mazzaglia
August 19th, 2014

Apprentice Lester Grace has retained the ride the in-form Oakfield Commands in the Group 3 $125,000 Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Lester Grace and Oakfield Commands, green and yellow, will stick together in the Show County Quality.

Lester Grace and Oakfield Commands, green and yellow, will stick together in the Show County Quality. Photo by Steve Hart.

Grace has formed a good association with Oakfield Commands with two wins from his last three starts and Rosehill trainer Gerald Ryan has no problem booking his stable apprentice in the non-claiming Group 3 handicap.

“Lester has a good record on the horse so I see no reason to take him off,” Ryan told AAP.

Ryan took over the training of the seven year old from Darren Smith in June and has prepared him for two wins and a fourth with Grace in the saddle on all three occasions.

Oakfield Commands has scored over the Randwick 1200m course on three occasions, including his first start for the stable in the $85,000 Winter Dash on June 21.

At his next start Oakfield Commands finished fourth to Generalife in the Listed $100,000 Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill on July 5 before bouncing back to win a 1200m Benchmark 95 at Rosehill on August 2.

Being by noted wet track sire Commands, Oakfield Commands will have no trouble handling the anticipated wet conditions on Saturday and has a win on the slow and on the heavy already on his form card.

“And the horse has a good record at Randwick. He has three wins from his last three starts there,” Ryan said.

“He’s adaptable and he’s good in the wet and has fitness on his side.”

Ten of the eighteen horses nominated for the Show County Quality are from the Chris Waller stable with eight of them also entered in the Group 2 $175,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m).

Monton from the Ron Quinton stable is another that has been dual nominated.

Team Hawkes have entered three horses with Atlante having his first run for the stable while Ninth Legion and Real Surreal are set for another campaign following a short break.

Atlante won the 2013 Group 1 NZ$300,000 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park on November 9 and then contested this year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival under the care of New Zealand trainer Murray Baker before being transferred to the Hawkes Team.

Real Surreal was spelled after finishing eighth to Steps In Time in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 22 while Ninth Legion was sent out after running fifth to Sacred Falls in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 12.

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