Phelan Ready ends racing’s longest drought
Trainer Jason McLachlan woke up on Saturday morning believing the stars had aligned to help Phelan Ready break through after more than five years without winning a race.
It turned out his prediction was right when Phelan Ready ($7.50) won the Desleigh Forster Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Phelan Ready had not won since the Golden Slipper on April 4, 2009 and his only other win was in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in the same year.
McLachlan said he had never given up hoping Phelan Ready would win another race although his sense of humour was being tested.
“I said I would headbutt the next person who asked me if Phelan Ready had been frustrating. Of course he was frustrating,” he said.
“It is the worst race he has won and I am the happiest.”
McLachlan said he had a feeling that Phelan Ready had been getting close to a win.
“I said today was his 50th run, it was the horses’ birthday, he was down in the weights and Eddie (jockey Eddie Wilkinson) was very happy with his work. Maybe the stars had aligned,” he said.
McLachlan pointed out 42 of Phelan Ready’s starts had been in Group races and he had won more than $500,000 in minor place prize money.
In a day of firsts, apprentices Bridget Grylls and Cassandra Schmidt scored their initial Brisbane Saturday wins.
Grylls turned in perfect ride on L’Entrecote ($2.70) who put a series of bad luck runs behind him to win the Russ Maddock Memorial Handicap (1600m).
The daughter of top New Zealand rider Gary Grylls and sister of international hoop Craig Grylls, she has been on loan to Barry Lockwood at Eagle Farm for the past month.
Grylls has ridden 88 winners but only nine of those are rated metropolitan status in Australia meaning has 11 more to outride her 3kg city allowance.
Schmidt only had her Saturday riding licence returned two starts back after she was sent to the midweeks earlier this year.
However, she also turned in a top ride to steer Flying Riddle ($2.70) to victory in the Austack Handicap.
Tegan Harrison rode her first winner as a senior jockey when Epsilon won the Gollan Racing Handicap (1000m).