Damien Oliver used all his experience and composure to guide Umgawa to victory in the $200,000 VOBIS Gold Reef (1600m) at Flemington, and his connections are now set to have “a lot of fun with him”.
Oliver waited until late on the straight to find a crease in the field on Saturday, before guiding his $6.50 runner with Ladbrokes to gun down Chateau Nue ($2.25 for Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr) and prevail by 1/5 of a length.
The only way is now up for the three-year-old gelding in the Leon and Troy Corstens stable.
— Racing.com (@Racing) March 19, 2022
“He’s not the biggest horse and I was hoping he’d be able to squeeze his way out, and fortunately he was travelling well enough to be able to do it,” Oliver told racing.com.
“I think he needed that sort of run to win at the mile and it worked out well.”
Oliver was pleasantly surprised with how his sprinter handled the step up to a mile.
“I trialed on him the other day and he was really sharp, and I thought a mile might test him a little bit,” he said.
“But credit to them (Corstens training staff). They got him here today in the right restricted race. I think that helped him get the mile today.
“But he’s always been a promising little horse and I think they’re going to have a lot of fun with him.”