Forest Spy's Fighting Qualities Give O'Brien A Double

Gutsy Shinko Forest gelding Forest Spy showed the fighting qualities that have won him six of his eleven starts by nosing out Winning Master in the Rawdon Handicap at Sandown this afternoon.

Hitting the lead at the 300m mark, Forest Spy under vigorous riding from Stephen Baster, refused to give in when challenged by Winning Master, ridden by Luke Currie, which looked as if it was going to go straight past him.

On the line, Forest Spy ($6.00-$7.00) won by a short half head from Winning Master ($5.50-$7.00) with a length to the third placed Rokocoko ($4,20-$5.00-$4.60).

The well fancied favourite Air Cooled ($3.00-$4.40-$4.20F) was fourth, a neck further back.

Winning jockey Stephen Baster was expecting Forest Spy to run well.

"Danny was pretty confident and thought the horse would run well and the way that his horses are going at the moment it gave me confidence", said Baster.

"He always lays in a little bit so I was prepared for him."

"I've ridden him once before and I knew he was quite good and he's got a lot of fight in him."

After Maxerelle, Forest Spy brought up the second winner of the day for O'Brien, who predicted that he would target races later in the Spring after the horse had won two in a row at Sandown during the winter.

"He knows how to win", said O'Brien.

"I knew he'd keep giving. He loves a bit of a dog fight."

Today's win represents a welcome turnaround from arguably the worst race of Forest Spy's career when he ran second last in a handicap at Caulfield five weeks ago.

"The track on Thousand Guineas day was very hard and he jarred up", O'Brien explained.

O'Brien is in no hurry to run Forest Spy again.

"We might head towards a Flemington meeting in four weeks time", he said. "There's a 1400 metre Open handicap there, which would be a nice race for him."

"It doesn't worry me to run him in a race after a break. He had a six week break between his last race and this one."

"I just like to place him where he's suited. He doesn't really handle Moonee Valley and Caulfield's not a really good track for him. He loves Flemington and Sandown."

"We just like to run the horses where they are suited rather than just sending them round."

O'Brien's other hope is that tracks will continue to be prepared with the sting out of them saying:

"You never know, they might just take that policy from Cup Day and use it all summer."

Passed in for $14,000 at the 2003 Inglis Classic Yearling sale, Forest Spy is raced by a syndicate managed by O'Brien and has now won six races and over $200,000.


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