Jan 06, 2017
It was a much deserved metropolitan break through for Oncidium Ruler at Sandown on Wednesday, the talented gelding relishing a step up to 2400m at his third run this time in.
Nicely rated by our apprentice Jake Bayliss, Oncidium Ruler was always travelling well along the rails a little better than midfield and when the splits came in the straight the lightly raced five-year-old made the most of them.
Letting down in the style of the stayer he is, Oncidium Ruler picked up his rivals in steady fashion - he was fourth at the 400m, third at the 300m, second at the 200m and in front at the 100m!
Whilst his winning margin was a soft 3/4 length, Michael Kent felt it could've been all the more impressive had Oncidium Ruler really concentrated on the job at hand.
"He probably should've run away with that and won by three," he said, "but when he got to the front he wanted to switch off a bit."
Oncidium Ruler has had that trait throughout his short career to date but it's just a matter of the "big, lean immature" horse figuring out what racing is all about.
"He has just taken a while," Kent said, "but he is a horse who has always shown us a lot and we think he could get to a reasonably good level in time."
"He still doesn't know how to really kill a race but he will get there."
Kent was full of praise for Jake Bayliss' ride, noting that he gave the horse the time he needed in the run home to find his feet - "sometimes he gets a bit unbalanced if the jockey goes too quickly for him," he said.
"You'd have to go a long way to see a better ride than that, he waited and asked for him at the right time."
"Jake has done a lot of work on this horse so it's good to see him rewarded."
Jake had not always been happy during the run, noting that the race was run at "a stop/start sort of tempo which doesn't really suit this horse."
"But he overcame that and as soon as he say daylight he let down well."
"He did start to float around a bit once he hit the front - he is still a big baby but there is plenty of improvement there and that will be a confidence booster for him."
Raced by a big group of happy owners led by his breeders Nigel and Meredith Berry, Oncidium Ruler is the second winner for the Zabeel mare Princess Regina - also dam of the city placed four times winner Za Za Zoom who is in foal to Epaulette.
Princess Regina meanwhile paid a return visit to Helmet having produced a lovely colt by that stallion late last August. And her three-year-old Royal Order by Commands has trialled well and is showing promise for the stable.
Nigel and Meredith, who hail from strong horse backgrounds, breed from a well credentialled group of mares from Illowra Stud based at Nagambie.