Mrs Onassis is now a Group 1 winning mare as she maintained her excellent 1100m record in Saturday’s $400,000, Group 1 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield.
Mrs Onassis and Kerrin McEvoy, picture Quentin Lang, quentinjlang.com
Trainer Gerald Ryan gave Mrs Onassis, with Chris Symons up, an ambitious first up assignment where she was down to clash with the likes of Ortensia, Barakey and boom filly Shamal Wind.
The race was dealt a blow when unbeaten WA sprinter Barakey was a late scratching at the barriers however nothing could be taken away from Mrs Onassis’ winning display.
From a wide barrier, Mrs Onassis (52.5kg) crossed over to sit outside early leader Adebisi.
What ensued from there was strong acceleration from the 200m before a clinical one length success.
Facile Tigre (55kg) (Catbird) and Brad Rawiller were second with Spirit Of Boom (56kg) (Sequalo) and Brett Prebble third, the margin 3/4L.
Undeniably was fourth. The time was 1.03.16 on the Good 3 track with the final 600m in 34.60.
The win marked a maiden Group 1 success for Mrs Onassis and the first for Gerald Ryan since Melito claimed the Winter Stakes at Eagle Farm in June 2010.
Interestingly, Mrs Onassis was no certain starter in the race.
“She worked the reverse way at Rosehill last Friday morning and her work was OK, nothing good,” Ryan said.
“I spoke to Claire [Bird] Sunday morning about not coming and she spoke to (owner) Gerry Harvey and Gerry said not to give up so easily.
“She [then] worked that well on Tuesday morning so we thought we’d give her a go,” he said.
Mrs Onassis now boasts eight wins and three minor placings from 18 career starts.
Seven of those victories have been over 1100m and Ryan is not going to change a winning formula looking towards her next goal.
“She’ll go home and probably won’t run now until the Galaxy because it’s 1100m,” Ryan said.
“She has an amazing record at 1100m and she’s a mare who has had problems early, that’s why she was lightly raced early, but is getting better as she is getting older.”
The General Nediym mare, out of the Unbridled's sSong mare Miss Jakeo, was the first leg of a race to race double for jockey Kerrin McEvoy who replaced regular rider Brenton Avdulla.
“She is probably a pretty worthy winner,” McEvoy said.
“Obviously we got a bit of luck with the Perth horse coming out, but she has got a sprint.
“Watching the videos and talking to Brenton Avdulla who’d ridden her in Sydney, it looked like she’d come back in better form again and her trial was fantastic the other day when she won well and beat Ortensia,” he said.
Shamal Wind and Ortensia offered little in the straight while 2012 Oakleigh Plate winner Woorim failed to beat a runner home upon resuming.
Mrs Onassis has now won eight races from 18 starts and with three plaings she has earned stakes of $510,530.