In-form local horseman Gerald Ryan enjoyed a winning stakes double at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday afternoon, the double completed by Mrs Onassis who won the 2012 Starlight Stakes.
Earlier in the day Ryan’s Golden Slipper runner-up Snitzerland scored an emphatic first-up victory in the $125,000 Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) proving she was on track for a stint at the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors.
Three events later and he was back in the winners’ stall this time with General Nediym mare Mrs Onassis.
Also resuming for the season the lightly-raced but super consistent five-year-old started in their 13th career run, posting their sixth success with a nice effort in the $100,000 Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) which was without its star Satin Shoes – an early scratching.
In a nice ride by Glyn Schofield Mrs Onassis ($4.60) had one and a quarter lengths to spare at the finish over $31 roughie Sainthood who was just a nose ahead of the $2.80 favourite See The World in third.
Ryan admitted to being bullish over their chances pre-race and had his predictions of success confirmed a long way out from home.
“Gerry Harvey owns her and he rang me the other day and said he was doing his matings for the upcoming breeding season,” Ryan said.
“He asked if Mrs Onassis could win a stakes race before she retired and I said she would win one on Saturday.
“I was giggling at the 800 (metres). I could see how well she was travelling.”
While it was an impressive victory by Mrs Onassis, and her first black-type title, she won’t be joining her star stablemate Snitzerland in Victoria just yet.
For now she will race on during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival having starved off possible retirement plans with the win, the $125,000 Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1100m) scheduled as her second-up target at Warwick Farm on September 8.
“his means she will not be going to stud this year,” Ryan said on Saturday.
Mrs Onassis suffered a number of early career setbacks, explaining her lightly-raced status, but Ryan and connections are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with her now.
“She had X-ray problems early on and didn’t go through the sale,” Ryan said.
“She came to me as a three-year-old and I have a real soft spot for her.
“She eats all her feed. She’s really quiet and anyone can ride her. She is a lovely horse to have around.”
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2012 Starlight Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Gardens Race 6 – 18/08/2012
|1||9||MRS ONASSIS||Gerald Ryan||Glyn Schofield||–||2||54kg||$4.60|
|2||5||SAINTHOOD||Rick Worthington||Blake Shinn||1.3L||8||54kg||$31|
|3||4||SEE THE WORLD||Joseph Pride||Christian Reith||1.4L||1||56kg||$2.80F|
|4||2||SKYTRAIN||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||1.8L||7||58kg||$8.50|
|5||8||SOCIAL RANK||Paul Perry||Andrew Heffernan||3.2L||5||54kg||$6|
|6||1||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||3.5L||6||59kg||$9|
|7||7||LA REMLAP||Joseph Pride||Corey Brown||4.6L||4||54kg||$11|
|8||6||NIGHTOFTHEGENERAL||Ross Simpson & Tracey Barnes||Nathan Berry||5.9L||3||54kg||$51|
|–||3||SATIN SHOES||Clarry Conners||Nash Rawiller||–||0||–||–|