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Fields of Omagh
Profile of a Champion
By Rubiton from Finneto
Page 4

Greg Childs had been riding Fields of Omagh since his return from the Adelaide wins but with commitments to Sunline & Northerly that spring a new rider was sought.  That resulted in Damien Oliver taking the ride.  Initially the partnership seemed to work well as Fields of Omagh lined up in the Feehan Stakes.  Drawn the inside barrier Fields of Omagh settled in third position behind La Bella Dama and Le Zagaletta with Magical Miss in fourth then Sky Heights.  Little changed to the home turn where Le Zagaletta and Magical Miss went to challenge La Bella Dama with Fields of Omagh trying to get through along the rails.  La Bella Dama shifted out when challenged by Le Zagaletta leaving room for a rails run for Fields of Omagh with Magical Miss out wider.  On straightening Fields of Omagh hit the front from Le Zagaletta and Magical Miss followed by La Bella Dama and a gap to the rest.  Magical Miss came at Fields of Omagh strongly in the final stages but he fought back to hold off a determined lunge from the mare with Le Zagaletta third and daylight to the rest.

Cheltenham July 2005

Cheltenham July 2005

Heading out onto the track

Alongside Moscow Ballet

Hitting the front

At full stretch

It was then back to Flemington for the Turnbull Stakes and a rematch with Northerly.  Jumping from barrier 12 in a field of 14 Fields of Omagh was eased back to last place under a hold as Leica Gov went to the lead from Magical Miss followed by Northerly and Dash for Cash.  By the 1200m the pace slowed and Northerly moved up outside the leader Leica Gov from Dash for Cash then Magical Miss and Maguire with Fields of Omagh now a conspicuous last.  By the 500m Northerly shared the lead with Leica Gov from Dash for Cash and Maguire with Fields of Omagh still last.  On straightening Northerly kicked clear as Dash for Cash and Magical Miss ran on with Fields of Omagh finally set alight once clear but was too far back to be a chance.  By the 200m Northerly was fighting off Dash for Cash with Magical Miss running on and Fields of Omagh, while set the impossible task, was still flying home out wide.  In the final 70m Fields of Omagh made up remarkable ground but the post was too close and Northerly narrowly defeated Dash for Cash with a length to Fields of Omagh third.




Returning after the exhibition gallop July 2005

After the gallop posing for the camera


Two weeks later Fields of Omagh lined up in his first Group 1 the Caulfield Cup.  To the post the first time and The Secondmortgage led from Tully Thunder with Dash for Cash wide then Northerly and Fields of Omagh followed by Republic Lass.  By the 1600m Tully Thunder led Northerly then Dash for Cash followed by Helene Vitality as Fields of Omagh started to drift back behind Republic Lass and The Secondmortgage.  By the 1100m Tully Thunder led Northerly as Fields of Omagh drifted further back to 8th amongst the pack.  800m from home Northerly joined Tully Thunder with Freemason running on followed by Helene Vitality and Dash for Cash as Fields of Omagh was finally urged to pick up ground.  On straightening Freemason edged ahead but Northerly fought back as The Secondmortgage ran on with Fields of Omagh pulled out wide to make his run further back.  Passing the 300m Northerly sprinted clear of Freemason with Republic Lass running on as Fields of Omagh started to make ground out wide.  Northerly was starting to tire as Fields of Omagh charged at him with Republic Lass next then Distinctly Secret wide out.  It was all too later as Northerly held on by a half neck from Fields of Omagh with Republic Lass third.

After the gallop at Cheltenham in July 2005

Caulfield Oct 2005

Before the 2005 Caulfield Stakes


In the mounting yard for the 2005 Caulfield Stakes


Fields of Omagh had only his third start at Weight for Age in the WS Cox Plate a week later.  The race featured Lonhro and Sunline who had fought out the Caulfield Stakes only two weeks earlier plus Northerly trying to win the race for a second time.  Northerly was a raging favourite and at the midweek press conference featuring connections of each runner Damien Oliver (who had been Northerly’s regular rider the previous year)  commented along the lines that he expected the favourite to win.  Reportedly unhappy with the jockey’s defeatist attitude the stable threatened that the ride would go to a jockey brought in from Hong Kong unless Oliver concentrated on how to try to win the race.  

There was a huge crowd in attendance with the race being Sunline’s final appearance before retirement to stud.  Passing the post the first time Sunline led Bel Esprit and Northerly then Defier followed by Ustinov then Grandera with Fields of Omagh and Lonhro well back and So Assertive last.  Past the 1600m Sunline led Bel Esprit and Northerly while Fields of Omagh was three wide outside Lonhro still a long way from the leaders.  By the 1000m Sunline raced clear from Northerly then Bel Esprit followed by Defier.  Grandera made ground around Ustinov with a gap to Fields of Omagh followed by Lonhro and So Assertive.  Around the turn Sunline led Northerly then Defier with Grandera running on and a gap to Fields of Omagh then Lonhro.  On straightening Northerly joined Sunline with Defier and Grandera in pursuit with a gap to Lonhro and Fields of Omagh.  Inside the final 100m Northerly got the better of Sunline to go on and win by a length from Defier  with Grandera third and Sunline a tiring fourth.  Staging their own two horse war Fields of Omagh held off Lonhro for fifth but both had been too far out of their ground throughout.

After a spell Fields of Omagh returned for the autumn lining up in the CF Orr Stakes over 1400m. He also had a new rider with Greg Childs returning to the saddle. Innovation Girl settled in front from Yell then Pernod and Mr Murphy then Don Eduardo just ahead of Fields of Omagh with Northerly last.  Little changed to the turn where Innovation Girl and Yell turned together from Mr Murphy as Fields of Omagh started to make ground from Northerly.  By the 200m Yell edged ahead of Innovation Girl as Fields of Omagh started to run on from Pernod.  In the last 50m Fields of Omagh charged at Yell but the 3yo held on by a half length with Innovation Girl a half head away third and Northerly unplaced. 

Fields of Omagh continued his Australian Cup campaign in the St George Stakes over 1800.  The race attracted a disappointing field of only 4 runners with Fields of Omagh and Northerly expected to be a class above the others.  In the boggy conditions Georgie Boy led Northerly then Mr Casanova outside Fields of Omagh.  By the 1000m Georgie Boy led by two lengths from Northerly then Fields of Omagh inside Mr Casanova.  Passing the 600m Northerly joined Georgie Boy with Fields of Omagh and Mr Casanova right on their heels.  In the straight Georgie Boy asnd Northerly shared the lead as Fields of Omagh quickly stride up between them with Mr Casanova dropping off slightly.  Inside the 200m Fields of Omagh and Northerly raced away from the others with Northerly drifting in towards Fields of Omagh. Fields of Omagh fought back but after hitting a soft patch noticeably shortened stride in the final 50m with Northerly going on to win by a half length.  Fields of Omagh was fine after the race and lined up with a rematch against Northerly in the Australian Cup. 

In the Australian Cup Mr Trickster led Northerly from Osca Eric and Fields of Omagh with Don Eduardo three wide then Distinctly Secret and Natural Blitz.  By the 1400m Northerly had taken control from Don Eduardo then Fields of Omagh and Mr Trickster.  Little changed to the turn where Northerly led Don Eduardo from Fields of Omagh with Distinctly Secret running on.  Inside the 300m Northerly raced away to put the race beyond doubt from Don Eduardo and Mr Trickster as Fields of Omagh lost ground.  In the final 200m as Northerly raced to victory Fields of Omagh was ridden out to the line holding his ground in 5th in the field of 7 but lacking all acceleration.  After the race the reason was clear he had been badly injured again.  This time it was the ‘good’ offside leg but again a suspensory ligament injury.  He went back to vet Campbell Baker’s team at Lindsay Park for treatment but there was concern the painful injury would result in retirement.  The only notable comeback from two suspensory ligament injuries in the Group 1 ranks was Kingston Town over 20 years before. 

Heading out onto the track Oct 2005

Parading to the start at Caulfield Oct 2005


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