Young UK apprentice jockey Oisin Murphy enjoyed a stakes win to start the New Year at Flemington Racecourse on Wednesday saluting in the $150,000 Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) aboard progressive stayer Outback Joe.
Regular rider for famous English trainer Andrew Balding, Murphy is currently on loan to Melbourne’s Danny O’Brien for our summer.
On New Year’s Day 2014 another horseman Nigel Blackiston gave them a shot putting him on six-year-old Outback Joe, a son of Bart Cummings’ star staying mare Let’s Elope and top Aussie sire Elvstroem, in the Bagot Handicap.
“This kid, in five years’ time if he stays in England he’ll be the leading rider,” Blackiston said of the progressive jockey.
“He’s come over here for experience and he caught my eye when I first saw him rider and I was lucky enough to use him.”
It was the gelding’s debut black type assignment and they handled the class rise with ease running away with their fourth win at career start number 20 proving a dour stayer when tested over the distance for the first time.
After two disappointing unplaced runs earlier this season Outback Joe was only rated a $12 chance for their Standish Handicap Day race where they went up from 2000m to 2800m.
They proved better than their price however saluting by two and a quarter lengths over the Darren Weir-trained Hurdy Gurdy Man ($5) who came off a second behind Pelicano in the Werribee Cup from December 15.
In a distant third nearly seven lengths off the winner was then the Pat Carey-trained Angola ($13) who was one and a half lengths clear of the $3.70 favourite Unchain My Heart in fourth.
Murphy, who now has three winning Victorian rides under his belt, was full of post-race praise for the Bagot Handicap winner who had to race three wide without cover throughout much of the race.
“It’s a great privilege to be thought as good enough to ride in one (stakes race),” Murphy told Racing Victoria on Wednesday.
“They tried to turn it into a hack canter and I’d watched my horse’s replays and he’s a strong stayer.
“I would’ve got slayed if I was sitting three wide but it was important to come around them rather than sit last in the straight and get caught out.”
There are plenty of upcoming summer – autumn staying options for Outback Joe over the coming months with Blackiston even considering a trip to Tassie for a shot at the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) and Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) in February.
If they continue to show a liking for the staying races, and impressing on the track, then they could also earn a shot at bigger features including the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) on March 10 at Morphettville and even the $500,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in April – both over the two miles.
“I’ve always had faith in this horse getting out to the 2800 metres and he’ll get the two miles (3200m) eventually where I think you’ll see an even better horse,” Blackiston said.
“He’s taken time and some of these stayers do but he’s a work in progress and you’ve got to be patient.
“I’m hoping to get to one of the two mile races, whether it’s Adelaide or Sydney but there’s a nice little bonus heading over for the Luanceston or Hobart Cups so I’ll talk to Denis (Marks, owner) and take it from there.”
Check out the full Bagot Handicap 2014 results below making sure to bookmark us here at Races.com.au for all the rest of the off season racing action.
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2014 Bagot Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 5 – 01/01/2014
|1||6||OUTBACK JOE||Nigel Blackiston||Oisin Murphy (a)||–||3||54kg||$12|
|2||1||HURDY GURDY MAN||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||2.25L||12||60kg||$5|
|3||7||ANGOLA||Pat Carey||Chris Symons||6.75L||13||54kg||$13|
|4||2||UNCHAIN MY HEART||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||8.25L||1||55kg||$3.70F|
|5||4||THUBIAAN (USA)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||8.45L||10||54kg||$7|
|6||5||FLASHY FELLA (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Damian Lane||8.75L||4||54kg||$26|
|7||13||CALLMEDAN||Garret Lynch||Darren Gauci||10.25L||11||54kg||$61|
|8||10||BLAZING DRAGON||Bart & James Cummings||Vlad Duric||10.55L||9||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$9|
|9||3||CRAFTY CRUISER||Bryce Stanaway||Dean Yendall||10.95L||5||54.5kg||$12|
|10||9||LEONARDO EXPRESS||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Brian Higgins||12.2L||6||54kg||$26|
|11||14||BY HIS DESIGN (NZ)||Steven Noble||Jake Noonan||12.3L||7||54kg||$101|
|12||8||HEAVEN’S RICHES||Robbie Laing||Dean Holland||13.05L||2||54kg||$41|
|13||12||MCNULTY||Michael Kent||Craig Newitt||16.3L||8||54kg||$12|
|–||11||HANDSOME (NZ)||Troy Portelli||Ms Clare Lindop||–||0||–||–|