Trainer Gerald Ryan’s last minute decision to push ahead to start Mrs Onassis in the $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield today paid off handsomely with another Group 1 win for the stable.
Ryan was in two minds if he would travel to Melbourne from his Rosehill base with Mrs Onassis but an impressive gallop early in the week convinced him to make the trip.
“Two week’s ago we got that wet weather in Sydney and a couple of her gallops were below par and I thought she’s just not quite fit enough to come here,” Ryan said.
Her work was still not up to scratched last Friday but a solid workout on Tuesday booked her a berth in the Group 1 sprint.
“She worked that well Tuesday morning, we gave it a go.”
Mr Onassis showed her liking for the 1100m and took her record to seven wins over the short course journey.
“She has built up an amazing record at 1100m.”
Kerrin McEvoy had Mrs Onassis ($16) on the pace out of trouble and after sitting outside the leader, Queenslander Adebisi, shot away in the straight to score by a length from the fast finishing Facile Tigre ($15) and Spirit Of Boom ($11).
“She’s probably a pretty worthy winner. Obviously we had a bit of luck with the Perth horse coming out, but she’s got a great sprint record,” McEvoy said.
“Her trial was fantastic the other day when she romped home and beat Ortensia and she proved it here today.”
Ryan is hoping the weather clears in Sydney as he heads back home with the Group 1 $350,000 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 30 in mind for Mrs Onassis.
Betting on the Oakleigh Plate was thrown into chaos when the short priced favourite Barakey was a late scratching at the barrier after trying to get under the front of the gates.
With the scratching of Western Australia’s top sprinter, three year old Shamal Wind, who was also vetted but passed fit to start, started the favourite, but failed to run on in the straight and faded to finish twelfth.