An outstanding Damien Oliver ride helped veteran sprinter Le Bonsir return to winning form with a tough victory in the 2015 Carlyon Stakes at Moonee Valley this afternoon.
Moonee Valley 1000 metre track record holder Sweet Emily took up the running in the early stages of the Carlyon Stakes and made sure that the race was run a brutal tempo, while Le Bonsir was settled just behind the pace by Oliver.
Oliver timed his run perfectly on Le Bonsir and the Choisir gelding responded well when he was asked for an extra effort to record his first race win since he took out the Listed Drummond Golf Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in September of 2013.
Trainer Mick Price admitted after the race that he thought Le Bonsir would be a better winning chance when he contested the Drummond Golf Stakes again in two weeks’ time, but he was thrilled to see the stable favourite record another race win.
“I know that he is a sprinter, but this was actually the run in between runs because he ran two weeks ago and four weeks was going to be too long for him and I had to put him in here,” Price said.
“He loves Moonee Valley and it was one of those races were there was a lot of 900 metre type of speed in it and they were going to go hard and stop.
“He just landed in a beautiful spot and sometimes these races work out where you are in the right spot at the right time.
“A month ago I would have said that I don’t need to go 1000 metres with him because he gets off the bridle too early, but today’s race worked out absolutely perfect.
“There is no reason why he doesn’t train on and he can come back here in two weeks.”
Oliver was having his first ever race ride on Le Bonsir in the Carlyon Stakes, but he looked like he had been riding the eight-year-old for years and he could not have settled him in a better spot in the early stages of the race.
“He is a beautiful horse and it was my first ride in a race on him, but he loves this track and he is just a dream to ride,” Oliver said.
“He is a classy horse over these sprint distances and he is certainly a horse for course.
“Coming to the turn I was pretty confident that he was going to be hard to beat, there was very even good genuine speed all the way.”
Classy mare Gregers started the Carlyon Stakes as a clear favourite, but she was caught wide in the early stages of the race and she tired late to finish a disappointing fifth.