The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
A master class ride from jockey Damien Oliver saw the now Danny O’Brien-trained Perth expat Superstorm salute second-up in a narrow 2021 John F. Feehan Stakes win at The Valley on Saturday.
The Bob Peters-raced son of Sebring returned to winning form in the Group 2 $500,000 Feehan Stakes (1600m) second-up over the mile enjoying his first win since February last year.
First-up the five-year-old was good when fourth to Sierra Sue in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and he improved off that to salute in the Feehan off a rails-hugging run.
The fence had not been the place to be all day, but Oliver was given no choice but to stick to the inside in a very tight run as rival hoop John Allen moved away aboard a luckless Sierra Sue opening up the winning slot for Superstorm.
Right from the jump Superstorm put himself in a more prominent position in the Feehan making up ground along the fence midfield as Streets Of Avalon led the field around.
At the 150m it was the undefeated New Zealand-trained favourite Elephant hitting the lead, before being run down in a thrilling photo-finish by Superstorm.
There were plenty there vying for third in a tight affair, The Chosen One eventually finishing off the trifecta a terrific first-up performance.
The result handed Oliver his fourth Feehan victory in the 21st century and O’Brien was quick to credit the jockey’s performance.
“It was always going to be a bit of a difficult map for him. We haven’t got much gate speed, albeit he took a more prominent position today,” O’Brien told Racing.com.
“You definitely would have preferred to be three-wide, peeling and getting momentum particularly on a horse like Superstorm that builds so much through his finish.
“He (Oliver) had nowhere to go and as they straightened, he’s gone back to the fence which hasn’t been the place all day and he’s still been able to lift him and just get there on the line.”
O’Brien was also happy with the run of Superstorm who looked likely to run next-up in the Group 1 $1 million Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Ladbrokes Park Hillside on Saturday September 25.
“I don’t think there was much in his favour today and he still got there and he’s second-up today from nearly a year off so the win was full of merit,” he said.
“He’s a horse that’s always raced at the top level and he hadn’t won for a while so it’s great to get back winning with him.
“We knew there would be good improvement from his first up to today and we were confident the horse would run well but it always looked like it would be complicated and need a D. Oliver special
“Bob Peters will decide where he thinks the horse will be best placed next.
“I suspect the Underwood looks the next logical run for him in three weeks’ time at the 1800. I think a big track like Sandown will suit too.
“It’s only going to get harder there’s a lot of really nice horses around in Sydney there today so we’re pleased to get on the board today and looking forward to the rest of the spring with him.”
Superstorm also earned a ballot exemption into the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) run at The Valley on October 23.
All-in 2021 Cox Plate betting markets have Zaaki, first-up winner in Sydney’s Tramway Stakes, as the $3 favourite while Superstorm is at $51.
2021 Feehan Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||4||SUPERSTORM||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||5||59kg||$6|
|2||11||ELEPHANT (NZ)||Emma-Lee & David Browne||Luke Currie||0.1L||1||59kg||$5.50F|
|3||3||THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ)||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Damian Lane||0.5L||8||59kg||$10|
|4||7||NONCONFORMIST||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||0.7L||12||59kg||$13|
|5||2||STREETS OF AVALON||Shane Nichols||Dean Yendall||1L||3||59kg||$8|
|6||8||SHOT OF IRISH||Scott Brunton||Ms Tahlia Hope (a)||1.4L||7||59kg||$17|
|7||14||SIERRA SUE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||John Allen||1.5L||2||57kg||$6|
|8||1||BEST OF DAYS (GB)||James Cummings||Brett Prebble||1.6L||6||59kg||$17|
|9||5||SOUND (GER)||Michael Moroney||Jamie Mott||2.35L||13||59kg||$201|
|10||6||CHAPADA||Michael Moroney||Daniel Stackhouse||2.55L||4||59kg||$41|
|11||9||DAWN PATROL (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Jye McNeil||3.3L||10||59kg||$7|
|12||13||REALM OF FLOWERS||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Craig Williams||4.05L||11||57kg||$26|
|13||10||PORT GUILLAUME (FR)||Ben & JD Hayes||Luke Nolen||7.8L||9||59kg||$26|
|12||SOVEREIGN AWARD||Danny O’Brien||Ben Allen||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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