Timely Sandown double for O’Sullivan

The Ballarat stable of Dan O'Sullivan is enjoying a purple patch of form in the metropolitan area which has included a race-to-race double at Sandown. 

O'Sullivan welcomed back to the winner's enclosure Way Up High in the Sportsbet Photo Finish Handicap (2400m) before Matriarch Rose took out the Stow Solutions Handicap (1600m) on Saturday. The double was his first in the metropolitan area since British General and Tuscan Fire saluted at Flemington on New Year's Day 2013. 

The victory of Matriarch Rose was O'Sullivan's fifth at a metropolitan meeting from his last 11 starters, which has also included four seconds and two unplaced runners. 

"It's been a good little run at the moment, let's hope it continues," O'Sullivan said. 

O'Sullivan said he had picked out Saturday's races for his two mares some weeks ago and was delighted for his owners that the program had worked out. 

"I picked them out a while ago and it worked out beautifully to get them both here and there should be more racing at Sandown on a Saturday, I reckon," O'Sullivan said. 

"If you had of asked me 12 months ago if Way Up High would have got to Saturday grade, I would have said maybe, whereas Matriarch Rose I thought she would get to at least Saturday grade. 

"We'll probably get another run into her, give her a break and prepare her for the spring." 

O'Sullivan praised apprentice Jaylah Kennedy for her handling of Matriarch Rose after the mare was posted three-wide for the journey. 

"We were afraid that may happen but with 52-½ kilos, I think it was important that she kept her balanced, and it was a very heady ride," O'Sullivan said. 

"When she hits the front, she gets the head up, and nearly gives it away, but we put a bit of head gear on her, so everything has worked out."