Staying on in Victoria for the Standish Handicap 2013 on New Year’s Day could be on the cards for Dennis O’Leary’s South Australian sprinter Outlandish Lad after their impressive second-up win at Caulfield on Saturday.
The veteran Fantastic Light seven-year-old posted their 11th career win at start number 39 over the weekend when hanging on in a tight finish with Diplomatic Force to win the $80,000 CFV Nightingales Handicap (1100m) by just a long neck.
It was their first win since their maiden Group status victory in the Group 3 DC McKay Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville back in April, after which they were outclassed by the world’s best mare Black Caviar running a distant sixth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in May.
First-up after nearly six months on the sidelines Outlandish Lad returned with a sixth to Frontelina in the Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) at Flemington last month.
They relished the step back in class at Caulfield on Saturday however and O’Leary is still looking at where to next with the grey who will likely be racking up the kilometers travel-wise this season.
One race Normanville-based O’Leary is seriously looking at is the $150,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington Racecourse on January 1, 2013.
“I haven’t really picked one out but it sort of forces us to come over here because there aren’t really any higher rated big races in South Australia,” O’Leary said.
“With his level of rating up, he’s going to get 61 or 62 (kilos) back home and we came over here and only got 60 and the three kilo claim (for Damien Thornton) got us in with a chance.
“The Standish Handicap was one we had in mind.
“We thought there would be higher quality horses than him with higher ratings which might compress the weights a little bit.”
One thing that does concern O’Leary a little bit about travelling back and forth from Adelaide to Melbourne is the way the horse handled the trip this time, and the toll it may take.
“He didn’t drink a lot,” he said.
“He’s a bit funny when you take him away and you worry about those things.
“You just want to do everything right.”
But so far it has been so good with Outlandish Lad having amassed over $546,000 in career prize money to date, not bad for a yearling passed in at the 2007 Magic Millions Adelaide Sales for $25,000.
“He’s been going super. We’ve got more condition on him this preparation,” O’Leary said.
“He did terrifically out in the paddock and came in big and he’s kept it on and that’s going to help him a lot.”
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