White Sage to have short break after Festival Stakes win

Trainer John O’Shea will give White Sage a short break after the mare kept her unbeaten record intact with an all the way win in the Listed $100,000 Blackwoods Stanley Dewalt Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

White Sage kept her winning record intact taking out the Festival Stakes at Rosehill.

White Sage kept her winning record intact taking out the Festival Stakes at Rosehill. Photo by Steve Hart.

Winning jockey James McDonald shot White Sage straight to the front from her outside gate and the four year old mare produced another faultless display with a two lengths win over Terravista and Alma’s Fury to make it five wins from five starts.

O’Shea will give the Reset mare a short break before he begins preparing her for the rich Sydney Autumn Carnival with the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 22 her main goal.

“We will give her a short break but there’s not much time to start getting her ready for her next campaign,” O’Shea said.

“She’s a stakes winner now so she will be able to get into the better races.”

“The Coolmore Classic is the race she will be set for.”

McDonald had been given the task to test White Sage to see if she would be up competing in tougher company and he gave O’Shea a glowing report.

“She just keeps improving and her heart’s as big as herself,” McDonald said.

“She tries and I think that’s going to take her a long way. That’s five from five, it’s not easy to do. It won’t be her last that’s for sure.”

O’Shea didn’t give McDonald any specific instructions after drawing the outside of the fourteen horse field, but after jumping brilliantly, McDonald didn’t have any concerns as he crossed the field with ease and dictated the race in front.

“I left it to James as to what to do from out there. He’s the best,” O’Shea said.

“When she came out like that I knew she would be hard to beat.

“She was on the toe today and I thought she might jump and fly.

“She was very impressive and it’s very rewarding.”

White Sage was having her first run at Listed class level after racking together a series of four impressive restricted class wins,  her latest by there and a half  lengths at Rosehill.

Runner Terravista also pleased trainer Joe Pride and will be sent for beak before being prepared for the Autumn.

Pride said that Terravista was beaten by a better horse on the day but is more than impressed with the progress his four year old has made this preparation winning all three starts prior to Saturday’s second.

“It’s rare to see a horse do what he’s done during a preparation,” trainer Joe Pride said.

“We just happened to run into another one doing the same thing. I’m happy with how he went.”

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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