A wink and a nudge gets Danahere home

A perfectly judged ride by star hoop Craig Williams, and some behind the scenes work from fellow jockey James Winks, was able to give Danahere the lift she needed to get back on the board as winner at Sandown on Wednesday.

The Dehere mare, whose last win came at Sandown in February 2011, had made a habit of missing the start in her most recent runs which had led to her best placing of fourth in five starts this preparation.

Winks, who rode the five-year-old last start but was out suspended for this race, and trainer Danny O’Brien teamed together on the training track to cure her poor barrier manners and this led to a barrier blanket being used for the first time on the mare.

“The key with her is to be near the lead as she doesn’t have a great sprint and her races were over before they began when she was getting back in the field,” O’Brien said.

“She is tough and can maintain her top for an extended period and Craig gave her the perfect ride.”

Williams thanked Winks for his work with the mare on TVN following the victory.

“James gave me a call this morning and let me know her little tricks and what he had done with her since that last start to ensure she jumped away with them. It worked as we were able to roll forward in the small field and even though it was a only small (winning) margin, it was a nice effort from her,” Williams said.

O’Brien was pleased the grey mare repaid the faith of her owners by posting her fourth career win in her 20th start.

“The guys have been very patient and to be fair to the mare it was probably the best chance she has had since returning to post a victory and hopefully she can take confidence out of the win and go on with it.”

The trainer indicated that Danahere was likely to head to Moonee Valley on February 17 for a 2500m restricted 0-82 event for her next start.

“She’s a mare that has shown that once she finds form she can hold it, so we will see if that race ends up a suitable event for her to make it two-in-a-row."

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