Matthew Bennett rode Oyashio Drift to victory for Grafton trainer John Shelton in the Valley Protective Services F&M Maiden Handicap over 1115m at Clarence River Jockey Club in Grafton on Monday, 15th April, 2019.
Matthew Bennett rode Oyashio Drift to victory for Grafton trainer John Shelton in the Valley Protective Services F&M Maiden Handicap over 1115m at Clarence River Jockey Club in Grafton on Monday, 15th April, 2019. Bill North

Shelton strikes third time lucky with Oyashio Drift

RACING: Three, two, one ... bingo. It took John Shelton just three starts to bring tried maiden filly Oyashio Drift into the winners' circle with a dominant start-to-finish win at Grafton.

The three-year-old filly had five previous starts before Shelton picked her up earlier this year from Ciaron Maher and David Eustace's giant stable out of Ballarat in Victoria.

After a third at Coffs Harbour (March 12) and second at Grafton (March 25), she delivered in spades yesterday, overcoming a wide barrier to shoot almost two lengths clear of Barry Ratcliff-trained Campari Soda ($6, Andrew Gibbons) and Dwayne Schmidt's No Doubt A Lady ($6.50, Luke Rolls).

WINNING FORMULA: Matthew Bennett rode Oyashio Drift to victory for Grafton trainer John Shelton in the Valley Protective Services F&M Maiden Handicap over 1115m at Clarence River Jockey Club in Grafton . yesterday.
WINNING FORMULA: Matthew Bennett rode Oyashio Drift to victory for Grafton trainer John Shelton in the Valley Protective Services F&M Maiden Handicap over 1115m at Clarence River Jockey Club in Grafton . yesterday. Bill North

"We bought her as a tried horse for a syndicate I've trained for for many years,” Shelton said. "They're on top of the world.

"We decided to buy and she's had a first, second and a third since we've had her, so she's well and truly paid her way and I think that she'll win again.”

Oyashio Drift ($5, Matthew Bennett) was one of four from Shelton's stable in the race, with Julianne's Wish ($9, Anthony Allen) and Valley Crossing ($4.80fav, Leah Kilner) just out of the minor placings in fourth and fifth, and Jillerette ($61, Ben Looker) 11th in the 13-strong field.

The Grafton trainer was confident his newcomer was poised to strike.

"Until I saw the barrier draw,” he said. "But Matt overcame that with no trouble so it worked out good ... Matty did a good job, you know.

"It wasn't planned to lead but he didn't have many options.”

The race represented a step up in distance from her two previous starts over 1000m.

"Didn't worry her at all,” Shelton said. "And I think she can run 1200 strong too, so I'm pretty happy with it.”


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