Champion jockey Damien Oliver has credited the win of outsider Shout The Bar in the Empire Rose Stakes to co-trainer Adrian Bott’s initiative to add blinkers.
Oliver rode Shout The Bar in trackwork on Tuesday and said it wasn’t a confidence booster as she didn’t feel great in the lead-in to the 1600 metre Group One event.
“She got beaten pretty comfortably in her work but the track was pretty firm on Tuesday,” Oliver said.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Adrian. He suggested to put the blinkers on her and I really think they made the difference.”
The star jockey also did something he rarely does and that was ride with the whip in the left hand over the closing stages and Shout The Bar responded.
Oliver said Shout The Bar was a tough mare who didn’t give in.
“She’s been headed before, I think when she won the Arrowfield in Sydney, and fought them off,” Oliver said.
“You can never underestimate Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s team, they always fight it out strongly.”
The win gave Bott, who trains in partnership with Waterhouse, his first Group one win at the Flemington carnival.
For Oliver, it was his 121st Group One win, his 22nd elite victory at the Flemington carnival and his 25th win on Victoria Derby day.
Shout The Bar ($31) prevailed by a nose over three-year-old filly Odeum ($4) with Forbidden Love ($11) a half-length away third.
Tasmanian star Mystic Journey was heavily backed into $2.70 favourite but did not look a winning chance and finished seventh.
Her jockey Kerrin McEvoy said things didn’t go their way in the run.
“She just got cluttered up when we need to get some room and get into the race. Instead we were boxed in and she wasn’t beaten far,” McEvoy said.