Merriest to step up as Miss Rose retires

Danny O’Brien is confident talented filly Merriest can fill the void left by retiring stable star Miss Rose De Lago after the three-year-old powered home to win the Geoff Murphy Handicap (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

The daughter of Denman let down with a nice turn of speed to overhaul her rivals in the $100,000 contest and could now head to Adelaide for the Group 1 UBET Classic (1200m) on 6 May.

“We held her back from the early part of the autumn because she doesn’t like rock hard ground but there are some nice races from now through to the end of the season with her,” O’Brien said.

“We could go to Adelaide for the 1200m fillies and mares Group 1 (UBET Classic) or there’s a Group 2 race for three-year-olds on the same day.”

O’Brien said that Saturday’s win was a fitting result for connections as he also confirmed Miss Rose De Lago had been retired to the breeding barn after the mare sustained a minor injury.

Miss Rose De Lago won nine races – including five Stakes races headlined by the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) - in a 35-start career that netted more than $900,000 in prizemoney for connections.

“It’s a great result for the owners, Barry and Jan McRostie, because their super mare Miss Rose De Lago had to be retired last week, so it’s good that Merriest can pick up the slack,” O’Brien said.

“She had a minor injury which was going to see her spend two months in the paddock and she was always on her last season of racing so she’ll go up to Widden Stud to let down and be covered early in the season.”

Story James Tzaferis, to view story and view race click here

Pic by Racing Photos