It was mixed emotions for connections with the win the first at Group One level for young local jockey Matthew McGillivray, while the win came just a week after her owner Paul Makin sadly passed away.
Carrying the Paulyn Investments colours, made famous by stars including Starcraft, Winning Ways emerged as one of Australia’s new rising staying prospects with an exciting victory.
Trainer Garry Newham was able to deliver on a long time promise to the Makin family – telling them Winning Ways would win the Oaks early in her racing career.
And win she did. Thanks to a copybook ride from McGillivray, Winning Ways was able to circle the leaders and race to the front and then stay on and hold out the late challenges from the evental long shot placegetters.
“I just said, I hope he doesn’t jump on at the top of the straight and try and ride her home,” Newham said of his recently departed mate Paul Makin. “He couldn’t ride.”
“I’m definitely (thinking of Paul). He put a lot of money into the game and loved his horses.”
“I said to him six or eight months ago, we’ll win the Oaks. And after the Roses he said you’re right we’ll win the Oaks. He knew.”
“This is the best filly I’ve had my hands on. She’s immature yet – you have a look at her, she hasn’t furnished. She could be a Caulfield Cup horse.”
“This is as short (in distance) as she wants it,” Newham added.
Winning Ways boasts an imposing record for a lightly raced staying prospect. She’s won seven of her 13 starts. Two starts back she won the listed Bracelet at her home track of the Gold Coast.
For the Singaporean born Matthew McGillivray the win was his biggest in the saddle during a short but highly successful career.
“I’m speechless,” McGillivray told Sky Racing straight after the win. “I would just like to thank Garry and obviously this is in the honour of the owner Paul Makin who we lost last Friday.”
“It is such a great honour. It’s good to know he was with us today.”
“This is my first Group One, I can’t believe it. It’s unreal,” McGillivray added.
A half sister by Declaration of War to Perth based stakes winner Dreamtime Dancer, Winning Ways was a $110,000 purchased for leading international bloodstock agent Dermot Farrington from the Coolmore Stud draft at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Farrington was a long time friend and bloodstock adviser and buyer for Makin and he welcomed today’s emotional result with great pride.
As Farrington put it succinctly following the win – “He always had the last say.”
Winner: Winning Ways
Breeding: Declaration of War-Skip Along (Galileo)
Race: BRC Queensland Oaks G1 (2200m)
Sold for: $110,000
Sale: 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Coolmore Stud (As Agent)
Buyer: Dermot Farrington Bloodstock
Owner(s): Paulyn Investments Pty Ltd (Mgr: P Makin)
Trainer: Garry Newham (Gold Coast)