Underrated gelding Kirwan’s Lane capped a memorable day for John O’Shea by leading home a stable Quinella at $2 million The Ingham to give the top trainer a feature race double.
One of the first horses O’Shea bought after leaving Godolphin to train himself, Kirwan’s Lane ($21) trailed behind Brenton Avdulla before clear bursting and the fast-closing Lion’s Roar ($51) by one half neck held .
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Kirwan’s Lane takes out The Ingham.
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Atishu ($12) also did his best work late for third place, another short head away.
O’Shea had won the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) earlier in the program with Saltaire and was close to catching the Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) with Waihaha Falls, who finished second to Sky Command.
But Kirwan’s Lane was the star of the afternoon, defying O’Shea’s fears he was underweight to post his 11th career win in Saturday’s 1600m showpiece.
“A special day for us,” O’Shea said.
“Perfect drive from Brenton. We were so happy he got into the race, I just felt like the 57 (kilo) might be a bit much for him, that was the only problem I had with him.”
Ingham’s victory from Kirwan’s Lane has earned him a voting exemption from Doncaster Mile and O’Shea confirmed the race would be his autumn destination.
Lion’s Roar put on his best run since returning from an injury-related layoff and will continue on Boxing Day for the Summer Cup at Randwick, as will unplaced Diamil ($8).
For Avdulla, the win confirmed that his fortunes had finally turned after a quiet spring.
Kirwan’s Lane was his sixth winner since Wednesday, giving him a double on the program after Penthouse’s highway handicap success.
“I had a slightly lean trot,” said Avdulla.
“It’s been swinging around this week, lucky me. I had a couple of winners throughout the week and it was a great last day for this horse.
“He did everything really well and John prepared him tremendously.”
Group 1 winner Huetor did his best late on to finish less than two lengths behind the winner in his first start since overcoming a career-threatening eye injury.
“First of all, he drove a great race. It’s good to have him back,” said jockey Kerrin Mcevoy.
Riodini started with a $7.50 fav and sped for speed but was passed late on and finished sixth.
https://7news.com.au/sport/kirwans-lane-upstages-favourites-to-win-the-ingham-to-cap-special-day-for-trainer-john-oshea-c-9122567 Kirwan’s Lane eclipses the favorites to win The Ingham to cap trainer John O’Shea’s special day