The win of Miss Rose De Lago at Caulfield has been a shining light for Danny O’Brien after two weeks of intense pressure.
The Flemington trainer has spent nine days of the past fortnight in the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal appealing against a four-year cobalt disqualification, with the hearing continuing in early September.
Miss Rose De Lago gave O’Brien something else to focus on by taking out the Group Two PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.
“We’ve got a really good team and everyone’s been pitching in,” O’Brien said of his stable staff.
“That’s been the least of our problems getting the horses ready.”
Ridden by Damien Oliver, Miss Rose De Lago ($8) scored a half-length win from Jacquinot Bay ($17), with Entirely Platinum ($21) the same margin away in third.
A solid pace set by Lord Of The Sky and The Cleaner played into Miss Rose De Lago’s hands, with the mare settling in fourth position.
“A mile and even further is probably better for her but she got a very strongly run race and she was able to soak it up and be strong on the line,” O’Brien said.
He said he targeted Saturday’s race and would progress to the Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 3.
“The mares races don’t stretch out until a bit later in the spring, so we thought it was a good chance to test her against the boys here,” O’Brien said.
“There’s three weeks now to the Dato Tan Chin Nam and she’s been effective at Moonee Valley back in the autumn.”
After being booked to ride Suavito, the $4.80 second favourite that finished in sixth position, Oliver switched to Miss Rose De Lago following a recent jump-out at Flemington.
“I had a few choices so it’s always good when it comes off,” Oliver said.
The Lawrence victory was Oliver’s third feature Caulfield success this winter, having won the Sir John Monash Stakes and Bletchingly Stakes in July.
“Let’s hope it continues during the spring,” he said.