Trainer Bjorn Baker has credited Brenton Avdulla with the Rosehill win of Herne’s Oak, saying the young jockey has improved in leaps and bounds in the saddle.
The four-year-old gelding was the clear race favourite for the Ranvet Handicap at $3.50 but left his run until late, pipping Dance Of Heroes and third-placed Karigara to win by a short half-head.
Baker said the 24-year-old Avdulla’s patient run with Herne’s Oak was the catalyst for victory.
“I thought we were in a bit of trouble there,” Baker said.
“But it was an excellent ride by Brenton, he’s won four races on this horse and he’s really matured as a jockey.
“He’s going to the top.”
Baker said Herne’s Oak won’t be rushed into upcoming spring calendar events despite the win.
“He’s always been a horse we’ve had a really high opinion of, and this is the first time he’s got out beyond a mile,” he said.
“We’ll take it one step at a time and try and work through his grades.”
Stewards questioned Koby Jennings over the performance of Thunder Lady which finished second last and the apprentice said the mare’s action was good but the sit-and-sprint tempo of the race was against her.
“The horse felt good, she was striding out great, she just couldn’t let down when they walked and then sprinted off,” Jennings said.