Ranier strikes in last stride to win G3 Festival Stakes at Rosehill - GulfToday

Ranier strikes in last stride to win G3 Festival Stakes at Rosehill


Action form G3 Festival Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.

A typically honest effort by Ranier combined with a determined ride from Kathy O’Hara secured victory in Saturday’s G3 Festival Stakes at Rosehill.

Ranier seemed destined to finish second with 50 metres to run but O’Hara never gave up on the gelding who responded bravely to score in the final stride of the 1,500m race.

The perfect timing of Ranier’s finishing burst earned him his third Stakes win and also proved timely for his sire Lonhro, who turns 21 in a couple of weeks.

It also continued a profitable spring for Ranier who won first-up at Rosehill in September and was a good second at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week.

Assistant trainer Darren Beadman praised both horse and rider.

“It was a lovely ride by Kathy, I think she won it early in the race when she didn’t let Testashadow cross her and she encouraged the best from him in the finish,” Beadman said.

“Kathy is nice and kind on the horses and they respond well for her.”

O’Hara positioned Ranier behind the speed set by Renewal then slipped around the leader’s heels to get clear running in the straight, a move she thought might have cost her victory.

“I got off the leaders heels thinking I was doing the right thing to give him a good run into the race and I saw the second horse fly up the inside,” O’Hara said.

“But he was really good, he knuckled down late and was strong.”

Exciting two-year-old Alms continued her perfect record with a dominant victory in the mile G3 Jimmy Durante Stakes at Del Mar, USA, on Saturday.

The City Zip filly, stepping up in trip for trainer Michael Stidham following two six-furlong wins at Belmont Park including a cosy success in the G3 Matron Stakes in October, disputed the early running before settling in third on the inside rail after a furlong and a half.

Alms went second turning in and cruised up under Paco Lopez to take the lead from Laura’s Light entering the final furlong. She readily opened up daylight over her 10 rivals in the closing stages to score by two and three-quarter lengths in 1m 36.01s on good ground.

Michael Stidham said: “Alms is a special filly. We felt very confident that the step up to a mile was going to help her and she showed it today - the result was never in doubt.

“We will discuss where to go next with [Godolphin USA President] Jimmy Bell but we will probably give her a little freshening and have her ready for the spring and summer next year. She has a huge future ahead of her.”

Meanwhile, Right On Cue secured a first victory at G3 level with a blistering display in the Keihan Hai over six furlongs at Kyoto, Japan, on Sunday.

The Mitsugu Kon-trained Shamardal colt, a fast-finishing fourth over the same distance in the G3 Keeneland Cup at Sapporo in August, was held up in ninth of the 18 runners by Yoshihiro Furukawa.

Right On Cue was angled out turning for home and accelerated strongly in the straight, hitting the front approaching the final half-furlong. The four-year-old readily quickened clear in the closing stages to win by a length and three-quarters over I Love Tailor in 1m 8.8s on firm ground.

Harry Sweeney, President of Godolphin in Japan, said: “It was an extremely impressive performance by Right On Cue. He came very wide and won going away under a largely hands and heels ride, which is not easy to do in an 18-runner six-furlong sprint.

“He has certainly come of age this year. He didn’t win or place in any of his three races last year but has won four this year and added more than US$1,000,000 to his bank account. We got a taste in the summer of his ability when he finished a fast-finishing close fourth in the G3 Keeneland Cup at Sapporo and we had been expecting a big run.

“He will now be rested for the remainder of the year and we will look at a G2 or G3 race for him in late February or early March before either a trip to Dubai or a run in the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen.”

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