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Ranier strikes in last stride to win G3 Festival Stakes at Rosehill

Mike Hedge

A typically honest effort by Ranierinfo-icon combined with a determined ride from Kathy O’Hara secured victory in Saturday’s G3 Festival Stakes at Rosehill.

Ranier seemed destined to finish second with 50 metres to run but O’Hara never gave up on the gelding who responded bravely to score in the final stride of the 1,500m race.

The perfect timing of Ranier’s finishing burst earned him his third Stakes win and also proved timely for his sire Lonhro, who turns 21 in a couple of weeks.

It also continued a profitable spring for Ranier who won first-up at Rosehill in September and was a good second at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week.

Assistant trainer Darren Beadman praised both horse and rider.

"It was a lovely ride by Kathy, I think she won it early in the race when she didn't let Testashadow cross her and she encouraged the best from him in the finish," Beadman said.

"Kathy is nice and kind on the horses and they respond well for her."

O'Hara positioned Ranier behind the speed set by Renewal then slipped around the leader's heels to get clear running in the straight, a move she thought might have cost her victory.

"I got off the leaders heels thinking I was doing the right thing to give him a good run into the race and I saw the second horse fly up the inside," O'Hara said.

"But he was really good, he knuckled down late and was strong."