The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - MATT JONES

TRAINER Stir­ling Os­land didn’t go to Rose­hill Gar­dens for a hol­i­day.

The Ar­mi­dale trainer had to drive seven hours to run Ra­di­ant Choice in yes­ter­day’s High­way race but he was con­fi­dent it would be worth the time and ef­fort with his in-form run­ner.

“We were pretty con­fi­dent com­ing down here,’’ he said. “We don’t come down with th­ese horses too of­ten un­less we think they’ve got a de­cent chance of win­ning.

“He ran re­ally good time last start at Tam­worth and we had a look at this field and thought he’d run good time again.”

The Choisir three-year-old jumped in front from the 1400m start and re­mained there the whole race with James McDon­ald on board to beat the fast-fin­ish­ing favourite Hem­merle by three-quar­ters of a length.

It was a big ef­fort to get the job done with 60.5kg on his back so he could be for­given for look­ing tired late.

“We put the blink­ers on and rode him more pos­i­tively,’’ Os­land said. “He jumped nicely to­day and James did a lovely job con­trol­ling the pace. He’s run a nice time so he can do it both ends.

“He’s a big, strong horse. Even though he’s only a three-year-old, he’s car­ried weight be­fore and it would be nice to get down in the weights but if he keeps do­ing what he’s do­ing he won’t.

“We might find an­other one in two weeks.”

McDon­ald rode him well but gave the horse all the credit.

“He trav­elled well and was too tough for the rest,” the jockey said.

“He bal­anced well, got into a rhythm quickly. Down the side he had a nice breather and I let him stride from the 500m — and he sus­tained a good gal­lop.

“He was get­ting tired late but he did enough.”

The for­mer Team Hawkes-trained horse has only been with Os­land for four starts and is likely to be back in a fort­night for a 1500m High­way race.

Pic­ture: AAP

James McDon­ald likes what he sees aboard win­ner Ra­di­ant Choice yes­ter­day.

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