Oxford Poet enjoyed his breakthrough Black-Type success at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday with an impressive all-the-way win in the Winter Stakes 2016.
After a number of close calls this prep the Kim Waugh-trained gelding was given a gun run up front by hoop Tim Clark in this year’s $150,000 Listed Winter Stakes (1400m), holding off Zin Zan Eddie ($21) on the line by a quarter-length.
In a close Winter Stakes trifecta the Peter Robl-trained top weight Ninth Legion ($7.50) did well to finish under a length off Oxford Poet ($7) for third on the back of a Civic Stakes success.
Dylan Thomas five-year-old Oxford Poet was also a graduate of the Winter Stakes over 1350m at the track on July 2 having run fifth before turning the tables on his last start conqueror.
It was the Wyong-trained winner’s first success since May last year at Hawkesbury and his first in stakes’ company.
Everything worked in the favour of Oxford Poet, who has suffered hoof issues over his career, in this year’s Winter Stakes as he relished the distance and the rain-affected track, the soft going meaning he didn’t need to be fitted with special shoes.
“He got a track he likes and a great ride,” Waugh told The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday.
“I came here quietly confident that it was our day and it was.
“He deserves that because he is so gutsy and honest and always gives his best.
“He doesn’t have the best feet and my farrier makes special shoes for him, so it is good to see him get that reward.”
Waugh said that the three weeks between runs leading up to his loss as the beaten favourite in the Civic Stakes was part of the reason he wasn’t at his best that day, and that the shorter back-up into the Winter Stakes was ideal.
“He had three weeks between runs and raced a bit fresh,” she said.
“I knew he had more improvement than anything else coming out of that race.
“He just got going a bit hard and I was disappointed on the day but the way he has improved since made me think he was ready.”
Waugh was also quick to credit the “perfect” ride by Clark who hit the front on the eventual Winter Stakes winner with 800m to go, controlling the race and outsprinting the chases over the closing stages.
“I said to Tim to just let him roll because he can get pulling, and he did it perfectly,” she said.
Second past the post, the Matthew Smith-trained six-year-old Zin Zan Eddie was brave in defeat according to jockey Jason Collett, the horse improving notably on his dead last when 12th in the Winter Dash in late June.
“I could see Ninth Legion and knew I was going to get him, but Timmy was out in front of him [on Oxford Poet] and just had more to give every time I thought I was going to get him,” Collett said.
“It was a very good run and he is ready to win and would like the track a bit wetter.”
At the opposite end of the track scale, Ninth Legion’s hoop Sam Clipperton said with 60kg the son of Fasntet Rock didn’t like the soft going in his attempt at a third stakes win on the trot this winter.
“He likes it a bit firmer and with the big weight he didn’t really let down like he can,” he said.
See below for the full Winter Stakes 2016 results before placing your next punt online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!
2016 Winter Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 6 – 16/07/2016
|1||5||OXFORD POET||Kim Waugh||Tim Clark||–||3||54kg||$7|
|2||7||ZIN ZAN EDDIE||Matthew Smith||Jason Collett||0.3L||4||54kg||$21|
|3||1||NINTH LEGION||Peter Robl||Sam Clipperton||0.8L||9||60kg||$7.50|
|4||4||MARENOSTRO (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||1.7L||1||55kg||$5|
|5||2||SNIPPETS LAND||Peter & Paul Snowden||Brenton Avdulla||3L||5||57.5kg||$8.50|
|6||6||WOULDNT IT BE NICE||Paul Perry||Christian Reith||3.5L||2||54kg||$26|
|7||10||SHADOW LORD||Joseph Pride||Jay Ford||3.9L||8||54kg||$9|
|8||3||TALES OF GRIMM (USA)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||4.3L||10||56.5kg||$6|
|9||8||HIDDEN WARRIOR||Gordon Yorke||Blake Spriggs||4.5L||6||54kg||$21|
|10||9||BETTER NOT BLUE||Michelle Ritchie||Taylor Marshall (a)||4.8L||7||54kg||$4.60F|