O’Rourke savours first metropolitan winner

Edward O’Rourke can dare to dream about training a Golden Slipper runner after Ringerdingding supplied a milestone victory at Rosehill.

The Irishman, who took out his training licence last April, felt the pressure lift when the Sebring colt upstaged Godolphin favourite Wagner to start his career in style.

Ringerdingding ($7.50) claimed the Casino Prince@Vinery Handicap (1100m) on Wednesday by two lengths to bring the Group Two Todman Stakes (1200m) into play at Randwick on March 10.

The Todman winner is exempt from the ballot for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) so O’Rourke struggled to hide his excitement.

“There’s exciting times ahead with this guy,” he said.

“His trial form was pretty strong and he couldn’t have done that any better.”

Wagner ($2.20) crossed the line a short neck clear of Vega One ($18).

O’Rourke assisted Michael Freedman until the Australian relocated to Hong Kong and then became a trainer in his own right.

Randwick-based O’Rourke said the pressure to break the duck was more pronounced because he took over training last year’s Golden Slipper runner-up Frolic when Freedman departed

“It’s great to get one on the board. It’s a relief, you do start to doubt yourself,” he said.

Frolic was fourth in her comeback in the Light Fingers Stakes and lines up in the Group One Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

While the filly shapes as a handy pick-up, O’Rourke could also benefit from Ringerdingding practically falling into his lap.

He was originally with Robert Smerdon but switched stables in December when the Victorian trainer was embroiled in a doping scandal.

Ringerdingding shorted from $101 to $51 on the TAB Golden Slipper market after his debut while the midweek meeting’s other two-year-old winner.

Godolphin filly Cristobal ($8) held off the fast-finishing favourite Miss Fabulass ($2.15) to claim the TAB.com.au Handicap (1100m).

“She’s shown good ability right the way through and if she can improve on that she’s going to be a pretty classy filly,” Goldolphin head trainer James Cummings said.

Credit: AAP

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