Country cups campaign for Oncidium Ruler

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November 11, 2017 - 01:45 PM

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The rich Victorian country cups circuit is on the agenda for Oncidium Ruler after he outstayed his rivals on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival at Flemington.

Racing second-up from a spell, Oncidium Ruler appreciated the rise in distance to 2000m in winning Saturday's Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Plate.

Trainer Mick Kent is eyeing the $300,000 Ballarat Cup (2200m) on November 25 and the $250,000 Pakenham Cup (2500m) two weeks later.

He said if the stayer's form warranted he could then press on to the Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington in January.

Ridden by Beau Mertens, Oncidium Ruler ($9) scored by a long neck from Knowable ($8.50) with Have Plenty ($10) a head away third.

"The race that will really suit is the Pakenham Cup which is two weeks after Ballarat," Kent said.

"It's 2500 (metres) on a beautiful big sweeping track which would suit him right down to the ground."

Apprenticed to Kent, Mertens is close to ending his apprenticeship and was thankful for his master supplying his first carnival victory.

"It's been a really good journey with Mick and I could easily say I wouldn't be the same rider without him," Mertens said.

"I was riding up the bush last year so it's a nice turnaround so to ride a winner for him on the last day of the carnival is pretty special."