Story by Tim O’Connor & Craig Brennan (Ballarat Courier)
Dan O’Sullivan’s dream of a maiden group 1 victory could be realised this weekend after his star filly Affair To Remember gained a start in the Australasian Oaks at Morphettville.
The Miners Rest trainer has had a long and distinguished career, but is yet to taste success at the elite level.
Affair To Remember was among 12 horses on Monday night that had already accepted for the $400,000 feature. By Tuesday morning, she had slipped down the ballot order to 15 and was in danger of missing the field cut-off of 16 runners.
But not only did O’Sullivan receive the news he wanted, he had a further boost when Affair To Remember drew barrier five for her first try at 2000m.
To be ridden by local jockey John Allen, the horse is now favourite for the race at $4.60.
O’Sullivan is disappointed that COVID-19 protocols make it impossible for him to be in Adelaide on Saturday.
But O’Sullivan is feeling more pain for the filly’s band of owners which includes former South Australian Jockey Club chairman David Peacock. They are also not allowed on-course and instead will be watching the race on television.
Peacock and the owners won the Australasian Oaks with Maybe Discreet in 2013, prepared by Phillip Stokes.
“I’ve only got a couple for him at the moment but it’s exciting to have a good chance for David in the Oaks,” O’Sullivan said.
“I think she’s the right filly to do it and she’s going well enough.
“The draw helps for sure as there’s a few other chances in the race that have drawn a bit sticky so we should land in a pretty good spot.”