Much-travelled mare Angel Of Mercy helped Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan successfully launch his winter carnival campaign at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Angel of Mercy, the $1.60 favourite, came from second last to score by a length to Lady Echelon ($5.50) with 1-3/4 lengths to Tracey Angel ($51) third in the Listed Winning Edge Members Handicap (1600m).
Ryan’s spokesman Brendan Mackay said Angel Of Mercy would now be set for the Group Two Hollindale Cup (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 3.
“We will then decide which way to go. She may be a year off a race like the Doomben Cup but there are also fillies and mares races for her,” he said.
Winning jockey Damian Browne said it was an exceptional win because Angel Of Mercy had been giving the leaders a big start.
Trainer Brian Smith came up with an unusual idea to help apprentice Aidan Holt score his first win since an injury-enforced break.
Holt gave heavily backed Angusroy ($4.60) every chance before he won the Winning Edge Merchandise Handicap (2200m).
Holt broke a wrist in a trackwork fall in December and has used a strict regime to get his weight back under control.
First-up specialist Diamond Trail ($41) again proved the bookies’ pin-up girl when she won the BRC Has the Winning Edge Handicap (1000m).
Diamond Trail’s other city win was at $61 when she won first-up at Eagle Farm last August.
Trainer Bradley Smith said the mare had been working well but he had been worried she may not have been up to the required standard.