RIGHT CHOICE FOR A KING OF THE ROAD
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.
James McDonald likes what he sees aboard winner Radiant Choice yesterday.