The re-application of blinkers to Hot Ruby has helped the mare snap a lengthy absence from the winner’s circle at Caulfield.
Formerly trained by Brian Cox, Hot Ruby was having her eighth start since joining Luke Oliver’s Caulfield stables last year in Saturday’s Ian Miller Handicap.
The six-year-old had been placed four times since joining Oliver but the blinkers, coupled with an inside barrier draw and a textbook ride from Craig Williams helped her to her first victory since April 2015.
Saturday’s race, in which Hot Ruby ($4.80) dropped back to 1600m from 2000m was the first time the mare had raced in blinkers since joining Oliver.
From barrier one Williams put Hot Ruby into the box seat and angled off the back of Tessabelle at the top of the straight, drawing clear in the final 200m to beat her by 1-3/4 lengths with 2-1/2 lengths to Gingie third.
“She has been racing really well but she got the right run today and she deserved that,” Oliver said.
“It certainly wasn’t the plan after the other day to come back to 1600 metres, we were happy to stay at 2000, but it was just that this race looked a bit soft.”
Oliver said Damian Lane suggested the mare wear blinkers after he rode Hot Ruby last start, believing she would have won with them.
“He thought they would sharpen her up,” Oliver said.
“We galloped her on Wednesday morning with them on and she was really good.”No tags for this post.