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Fields of Omagh
Profile of a Champion
By Rubiton from Finneto
Page 8
 


Fields of Omagh returned to the racetracks for his 9yo season with his final preparation aimed at one race – the WS Cox Plate.  As in previous years he took part in an exhibition gallop at Cheltenham in Adelaide and for the first time he was beaten when import Tawqeet nosed him out on the line.  In the pouring rain two future stars of the spring had crossed the line together.  Tawqeet went on to win two group 1s in the Metropolitan Hcp and Caulfield Cup.  Ironically the rain which had started moments before the gallop cleared after the next race – an omen perhaps as a similar downpour hit Fields of Omagh’s spring exhibition gallop at Morphettville in 2003.  

There was concern in August when he suffered a slight injury to a shoulder but it only delayed his return by a week though he had missed some vital trackwork. 

First up in the Memsie Minson led Testafiable on settling with Fields of Omagh backing second last position in the 10 horse field.  Little changed until straightening where Minson and Testafiable led as Casual Pass and Apache Cat gave chase with Fields of Omagh circling the field from last.  By he 100m casual Pass hit the lead as El Segundo started to storm home from Apache Cat.  El Segundo raced past the post in front from Casual Pass with Apache Cat with the reduced fitness showing as Fields of Omagh only passing a couple of tiring runners 6 lengths from the winner.

Cooling down after the Caulfield Stakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fields of Omagh returns to Cheltenham for one last time in the
42 degree heat

Two weeks later Fields of Omagh lined up in the Feehan Stakes.  Apache Cat led Red Dazzler then Fields of Omagh followed by Spielmiester then Lad of the Manor with Spinney and Testafiable at the rear.  By the 800m Apache Cat led Fields of Omagh outside Red Dazzler then Spielmiester and Lad of the Manor.  Around the turn Apache Cat led a line of four in Spinney, Spielmeister, Fields of Omagh and Red Dazzler.   Soon after Spielmeister dropped back and Spinney ducked in checking Fields of Omagh who was forced towards Red Dazzler and lost balance as Lad of the Manor ran on.  Lad of the Manor just held off Apache Cat with Spinney third, Red Dazzler fourth and Fields of Omagh 5th but only 3.5 lengths from the winner. 

Back to Adelaide and Fields of Omagh galloped at Victoria Park between races as he was prepared for the Caulfield Stakes. 

El Segundo was being touted as the standout galloper of the spring and went out the short priced favourite for the Caulfield Stakes.  On settling Pompeii Ruler led grand Zulu then Casual pass from Roman Arch with a break to El Segundo then Super Kid with Fields of Omagh last.  By the 1200m little changed with the leaders as Fields of Omagh moved up along the inside of El Segundo with Super Kid dropping back to last.  On straightening Pompeii Ruler led from Casual pass with El Segundo out wide and Fields of Omagh trying to find a clear path close to the rails.  By the 200m Pompeii Ruler led Casual Pass and Fields of Omagh with El Segundo making ground out wide.  Inside the final 50m Casual Pass charged at Pompeii Ruler to hit the front right on the line with El Segundo just grabbing third ahead of Fields of Omagh.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Preparing to lead out the field for the feature race
 

While Fields of Omagh had been unplaced at all three spring runs each race he had been getting closer and closer improving two lengths with each race.  Against him was the fact that no 9yo had ever won the race and only Super Impose had won the race aged over 7 years.   Battle Heights in the 70s had won the Metropolitan Hcp as a 9yo and Tauto had won his second Manikato Stakes (then known as the Freeway Stk) at the same age in the early 70s but many used age as a reason to think Fields of Omagh couldn’t win again.  The only horse to previously run in 5 Cox Plates was the champion mare Tranquil Star who was second in 1941 and won the race twice in 1942 and 1944 with two unplaced efforts.  No horse had won the race multiple times with a 3 year gap between wins either.  But of course no one had told Fields of Omagh that the statistics and history said he couldn’t win. 

On settling Apache Cat led outside Aqua D’More then Pompeii Ruler and Red Dazzler followed by Our Smoking Joe and Racing to Win wide with Fields of Omagh only in front of El Segundo.  By the 1000m Apache cat led Pompeii Ruler then Aqua D’More and Red Dazzler with Lad of the Manor next and Fields of Omagh still well back but starting to make ground with Casual Pass.  By the 600m Pompeii Ruler went up to Apache Cat as El Segundo moved up and around Fields of Omagh pushing him into a pocket in last place.  Around the home turn Pompeii Ruler took a clear led as El Segundo gave chase on the outside and Fields of Omagh started to circle the entire field.  On straightening Pompeii Ruler was well clear of Aqua D’More as El Segundo made ground and Fields of Omagh started to storm home.  Inside the final 100m Fields of Omagh ranged alongside El Segundo as both made ground on Pompeii Ruler.  Fields of Omagh and El Segundo hit the lead together with Fields of Omagh just in front timing his lunge perfectly on the line to win with Pompeii Ruler a half neck away third. 

Heading out of the mounting yard
 


 

 

 

 


 

Out onto the track for a farewell gallop down the straight
 

In winning Fields of Omagh took his record to 45 starts for 13 wins, 8 seconds and 7 thirds with stakesearnings of $6,456,240 putting him fourth in the all time stakesearners in Australia behind only Makybe Diva, Sunline and Northerly.  In the Autumn El Segundo won several more stakesraces and Pompeii Ruler went on to win the Australian Cup.  While Miss Finland (who was blacked three times in the final 300m in the Cox Plate) has become one of the best fillies to race in Australia in the last quarter of a century and Apache Cat won three in a row in Melbourne in the Autumn before heading to the big races in Sydney.   

While his rivals heading to autumn success Fields of Omagh’s retirement was immediately announced and he was soon out at Living Legends in company with Better Loosen Up, Doriemus, Might and Power, Brew, etc. 

In December 2006 Fields of Omagh did make one trip back to Lindsay Park and paraded at the Cheltenham races before returning to Living Legends which is located nearly alongside Melbourne Airport on the outskirts of Melbourne. 

Fields of Omagh won on every Melbourne metropolitan track and he also won down the ‘straight six’ at Flemington.  He also won during every season he raced from three to nine years of age.


 

 

Cantering down the straight under a hold
 


 

 

 

 

Returning to the mounting yard

One last pose for a head shot
 

Fields of Omagh & Bryan Martin
 

 

 

 

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