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Fields of Omagh
Profile of a Champion
By Rubiton from Finneto
Page 5

Amazingly only 6 months later Fields of Omagh was cleared to return to the racetrack but then there was the question of if he could return to form again and be a force in the Group 1 races.  That spring Sunline was retired and at stud, Northerly had been forced to the sidelines with injury and the new star was the NSW champion racehorse Lonhro.   

Fields of Omagh returned in the  Group 1 Dubai Club Cup (now known as the Rupert Clarke Stakes) carrying 57kg and jumping from barrier 17.  He was slowly away and soon beaten for speed dropping out to last as the sprinters went hard in front.  Fields of Omagh made some ground along the rails to be in front of and handful of runners in the middle stages.  Turning for home he put in a short sprint but soon tired to finish last however he was within half a length of five other runners and only 8 lengths from the dominant winner in Exceed and Excel.  Although connections were initially disappointed, as on face value it seemed he may not have come back, jockey Kerrin McEvoy changed their minds.  He returned to report that the run was better than it appeared and the horse felt good in his action and over the injury.  With this in mind Fields of Omagh went back to Adelaide to freshen up for the Toorak Hcp in October.   

With McEvoy committed elsewhere Fields of Omagh had a new jockey in Steven King.  Earlier in the day Lonhro had cemented his position as outright favourite for the WS Cox Plate with his second successive victory in the Caulfield Stakes so no one was looking for other good runs by contenders by the time Fields of Omagh lined up in the Toorak, the second last race of the day.  In the race Umrum went to the front with Mr Murphy in third position while Fields of Omagh was well back but ahead for Roman Arch and Titanic Jack.  By the 800m Umrum led Ain’t Seen Nothin’ as Roman Arch started to run on from Fields of Omagh.  Turning for home Umrum and Ain’t Seen Nothin’ shared the lead as Roman Arch challenged with Fields of Omagh out wide running on.  In the straight Roman Arch sprinted to the front from Umrum with Fields of Omagh chasing hard.  Inside the final 50m Roman Arch held off a determined challenged from Fields of Omagh with Umrum third and Titanic Jack fourth.

Parading to the start for the 2005 Caulfield Stakes

Returning to scale

After the 2005 Caulfield Stakes

Back to Cheltenham in July 2006

Preparing for the exhibition gallop

'Been here before!'

  On Cox Plate day 2003 all the talk was surrounding Lonhro with some chance given to Defier due to his narrow defeats of the favourite early in the spring in Sydney.  Fields of Omagh’s previous win had been over 12 months before.  AJC Derby winner Clangalang and Gai Waterhouse trained Shower of Roses were other fancied runners and the unknown factor was the former overseas sprinter Paraca attempting to win the Cox Plate first up after a spell.  Fields of Omagh’s connections worked with jockey Steven King to devise a riding plan to upstage the more fancied runners.  There was a heavy downpour of rain only fifteen minutes before the race where Lonhro started as the shortest priced favourite for many years.  Paraca led Shower of Roses then Fields of Omagh and Defier followed by Clangalang and Lonhro with Zagalia and Natural Blitz at the tail.  By the 1600m Paraca took off leading by a huge margin to Shower of Roses with another gap to Fields of Omagh, who was keeping the leader in his sights this year, then two lengths to Defier followed by Clangalang then Lonhro.  By the 1100m Paraca led Shower of Roses by two lengths then four lengths to Fields of Omagh and a huge break to Clangalang and Defier followed by Lonhro.  By the 800m Shower of Roses strode past the weakening Paraca with Fields of Omagh starting to close on the pair with a break to Defier and Clangalang followed by Lonhro.  With 500m left Shower of Roses led Fields of Omagh with Defier right on their heels as the packed with Lonhro starting to make ground.  Around the turn Fields of Omagh took the lead as Defier started to run on from Lonhro.  On straightening Fields of Omagh sprinted to a ¾ length lead from Defier then Lonhro.  With 50m left Defier challenged Fields of Omagh but the leader fought back with determination as Lonhro charged down the outside.  Defier couldn’t close the gap and Fields of Omagh defied the challenge to win by a neck with Lonhro a further long neck away third.



Still posing for the camera



Heading out onto the track

Heading up to the start to join Tawqeet and Viz Vitae

Half an hour each side of the gallop it was sunny and the sky was clear but as in 2003 it poured while the gallop took place

Rubiton became only the second stallion to win the race and then sire a winner with the other being Heroic (who sired Ajax) over 50 years before.  Attempting to follow in the footsteps of his sire Fields of Omagh tried to complete the Cox Plate – LKS Mackinnon Stakes double a week later.   

In the Mackinnon Mummify and 3yo Casual Pass shared the lead early from Fields of Omagh outside Excellerator and Hail.  Casual Pass soon took over to lead from Fields of Omagh and Mummify then Hail and Excellerator.  By the 1000m Casual Pass led Mummify then Fields of Omagh and Excellerator followed by Hail then Distinctly Secret.  On straightening Casual pass was clear of Excellerator, Mummify, Fields of Omagh and Hail in a line of four.  Inside the 300m Casual Pass sprinted away from Excellerator and Fields of Omagh with Pentastic starting to charge home from the rear.  Over the final 100m Pentastic flew at Casual pass but the 3yo held on to win narrowly with Fields of Omagh two lengths away third holding off Ain’t Seen Nothin’ and Distinctly Secret.





Tawqeet and Fields of Omagh caught Viz Vitae before the pair went across the line together


While other carnival horses went for a spell an ambitious overseas campaign was mapped out for Fields of Omagh.  First he took up the invitation to run in the Japan Cup and although there was some concern about the hard tracks usually associated with Japan they needn’t have worried.  It absolutely poured in Japan resulting in a bog track on the day – too heavy for all but the best mudlarks.  Tap Dance City went straight to the lead with Fields of Omagh settling in fifth place on the inside early.  Tap Dance City continued to lead with a gap to the field where Fields of Omagh was fourth along the rails.  800m left and Tap Dance City just went further ahead as Fields of Omagh lost ground back to 6th between runners.  Tap Dance City was a mile clear in the home straight and went on to win easily from That’s The Plenty and Symboli Kris S as Fields of Omagh struggled to lift his feet out of the bog dropping out to the rear with US horse Johar in the final 300m of the race.  Johar had won the acclaimed Breeders Cup Turf at his previous start.  

Fields Of Omagh then travelled to Hong Kong for the 2400m race on International Day in December.  It was his first attempt at racing in the right handed/clockwise direction.  Fields of Omagh settled fifth one off the rail past the post the first time two lengths off the lead.  Little changed to the turn where Fields of Omagh appeared to become unbalanced and drifted back as others started to put in their runs.  As Polish Summer hit the front challenged by Vallee Enchantee Fields of Omagh became crowded behind a wall of horses and was left flatfooted again as the others charged for home.  Once he did get clear Fields of Omagh made a little ground but was well back in 11th place four lengths from the winner Vallee Enchantee.  It was then decided to give Fields of Omagh a spell and miss the autumn carnival to prepare for the WS Cox Plate again.

Returning after the gallop




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