Double Delight for Oakland Park
Another fantastic day for Oakland Park Stud at Ascot yesterday with Beret and The Front Bar both recording victories.
In race 4, the Heineken 3 Handicap over 1400m, the bridesmaid tag was officially cast aside for the ever-consistent Beret when she led from start to finish for jockey Clint Johnston-Porter.
Given instructions to ride midfield by trainer Adam Durrant, the situation changed dramatically from the moment the gates sprung open, with a number of the favoured leaders blowing the start, putting Beret into the unfamiliar leaders role.
The 5YO Oakland Park chestnut travelled sweetly however for Johnston-Porter, with the favourite Ginger Flyer sitting close outside in 2nd throughout.
Once in the straight, Johnston-Porter released the handbrake and in the blink of an eye kicked clear to win untouched by 2.8 lengths.
The win for Beret ended a frustrating run of four consecutive 2nds since coming back from a spell boosting her prizemoney to $176,000.
A well-deserved win to all her connections.
The last race of the day, the Crown Towers Handicap over 1000m, saw Oakland Park’s The Front Bar totally defy the day’s racing pattern to score a heart stopping victory under desperate riding from jockey William Pike.
Drawing barrier 10 of 11, Pike had no option but to drop the 3YO Sessions filly to the rear of the field with hot favourite Acromantula able to lead and dictate terms.
With leaders winning the majority of the day, Pike had some work to do on the corner five wide and still with most of the field in front of him. However after balancing up, Pike pressed the button and engaged The Front Bar’s familiar devastating turn of foot to gun down the favourite right on the finishing post to record an improbable victory, much to the delight of ‘Pike in the last backers’ in front of a raucous Ascot mounting yard.
Knowing how much the horse puts in every time, trainer Adam Durrant indicated after the race he would resist backing up The Front Bar in next weeks Placid Arc Stakes at Ascot next Saturday, rather saving her for nice races including black type in the future.
Bringing up her 4th victory from only 7 career starts, The Front Bar has now won over $346k in prizemoney.