Story by Andrew Eddy from


Trainer Dan O’Sullivan can lay claims to having one of Victoria’s best strike-rates over the past few months with a Sandown double on Saturday taking the winning run to new heights.

O’Sullivan, who works about 17 horses from his Ballarat yard, figures the stable has produced six Melbourne winners and four second placings from little more than a dozen runners, with Way Up High ($21) and Matriarch Rose ($3.70 fav) on Saturday scoring their second wins over that period.

He’s also won Melbourne races with Berkeley Square at Caulfield in April and last week at Flemington with Moor Mumm.

Saturday’s multiple success was O’Sullivan’s first Melbourne double since 2013 when Tuscan Fire and British General both scored at Flemington on New Year’s Day.

O’Sullivan said he suspected he would be a chance with both mares.

“These were both beautiful races for these horses,” O’Sullivan said.

“We picked them out a while ago to build to this day and it’s worked out good, More racing at Sandown on Saturday I’d say.

“It’s lovely when everything works out for you. Quite often you try different things and they don’t quite work out.”

O’Sullivan said that although he expected the four-year-old mare Matriarch Rose would make it to this level, he wasn’t so sure about the five-year-old stablemate.

“If you’d asked me 12 months ago with Way Up High, I would have said ‘maybe’, but with this one we always thought she’d get to at least Saturday grade,” he said.

“So, we may aim a bit higher now. Get another run into her and have a break and prepare her for the spring.”

O’Sullivan said he felt Matriarch Rose would get further than Saturday’s 1600-metre trip.

“It’s a pretty tough mile here and she did cover a bit of ground and was pretty strong through (the line) and I would like to get to 2000 metres before she goes to the paddock,” he said.

Matriarch Rose ridden by Jaylah Kennedy wins the Stow Storage Solutions Handicap at Sportsbet Sandown Hillside Racecourse on May 25, 2024 in Springvale, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Racing Photos)

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