Just 20 minutes after the disappointment of Nature Strip’s unplaced return in Melbourne, Chris Waller had something to smile about when lightly raced colt Osipenko claimed the feature race at Rosehill.
Osipenko ($8) put his hand up as an autumn force when he scooted through along the inside to win the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) by a short half-head over Zou Tiger ($7) with Matcha Latte ($21) another short neck away third.
Odds-on favourite Aft Cabin endured a torrid run, dwelling slightly at the start then having to work his way around the field to sit outside the leader and the effort told with the colt tiring to finish fifth.
“He had to do a bit of work in the early stages,” Aft Cabin’s jockey Tim Clark said.
“He couldn’t get a spot anywhere, I had to roll up outside the leader. By that point of the race, he had done a fair bit of work and was just probably left a bit vulnerable late.”
While Aft Cabin had excuses, Osipenko was impressive.
Group 1 placed in the Caulfield Guineas last spring, he had no luck when fifth to Aft Cabin in the Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) first-up but there were no issues for jockey Nash Rawiller on Saturday.
“Nash (Rawiller) made amends today and gave him an absolute peach,” Waller’s assistant trainer Charlie Duckworth said.
“He began much better from the barriers, put himself in the perfect (position in the) run and made it very difficult for the short-priced favourite who had to work hard.
“Nash just bided his time up the straight and said ‘yahoo Sally’ at the 200 and off we went.”
Duckworth said the stable wasn’t surprised to see Osipenko run so well and expected him to be even better suited over 1600m at his next start, which would be in either the Randwick Guineas or Australian Guineas in two weeks.
“Bring on the mile. I’m confident he will stay beyond that as well, but the ultimate goal is the Guineas next start,” Duckworth said.
Rawiller was grateful for the opportunity to make amends on Osipenko, giving the three-year-old an ideal run in transit on Saturday.
“I’ve got to say I was shattered after his first-up run,” Rawiller said.
“To only finish three-and-a half lengths off them I thought was very credible and thankfully the owners have stuck solid and given me another chance. It just worked out perfectly for him today, he’s a horse with good ability.”
– RAS NewsWire