Oakdale Royal win icing on cake for Walter

Oakdale Royal after his win.

Oakdale Royal after his win.


He's made a habit of dominating Kembla Grange's biggest race day via the Keith Nolan Classic, but Guy Walter scooped the $40,000 Kembla Grange Stayers Cup (2400m) just for good measure with Oakdale Royal on Sunday.

Gifting Blake Shinn his third winner for the day - and second for the wily Warwick Farm trainer - Oakdale Royal peeled off the leader Retort Courteous' back before storming clear to win by 1¾ lengths.

"It was nice to see her win stepping up to a mile-and-a-half," Walter said.

"There's no ambitions at the moment, but she will no doubt improve as she gets older and stronger. She's had a good campaign and she's been very consistent and deserved [Sunday's] win."

Shinn had already saluted aboard Walter's Last Wish in the Maiden Handicap (1600m) before urging Darci Magic to a big win in the Class 2 Handicap (1600m) after a torrid trip.

Oakdale Royal was well supported late after being trimmed from $3.20 into $2.80 and never gave her supporters cause for concern travelling sweetly in the run.

"I think she's a progressive mare," Shinn said. "She always does what she has to and runs a genuine mile-and-a-half and I think she's only going to get better with age.

"She really deserved that win. She's been knocking on the door, so it was just deserts for her."

Walter and Shinn were a little bit more enthusiastic about the autumn prospects of Last Wish, with the trainer mapping out a stakes program in the next month.

Last Wish ($8.50) gapped his opposition by 3¼ lengths and will be geared towards three-year-old races such as the Carbine Club (1600m) and Frank Packer Plate (2000m) - both at Group 3 level.

"He's bred to run a journey, but he's been a little bit nervy and thought that might hinder him in his career a little bit," Walter said.

"Even though he sweated up, he was a lot more relaxed and Blake was very confident he would run well, probably even more confident than I was.

"I thought he would run well, but I was surprised by how well he won.

"I think he's a horse on the way up."


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