A decision to strike early paid off handsomely for Miss Rose De Lago in the Group II Peter Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Miss Rose De Lago beat the males in the PB Lawrence Stakes. Photo: Darryl Sherer
Trainer Danny O’Brien said an examination of the calendar convinced him to start Miss Rose De Lago’s spring campaign early.

“We had a look at the program and the mares’ races didn’t start till later in the spring so we thought it was a good time to test her against the boys,” O’Brien said.

Damien Oliver had Miss Rose De Lago poised to challenge around the home turn in a fast run race thanks to Lord Of The Sky and after striking the front 100 metres out Miss Rose De Lago ($8) stayed on gamely to defeat Jacquinot Bay ($17) by a half length.

The six-year-old has won four of her five starts at the course and O’Brien said he had the daughter of Encosta de Lago primed to run a big race.

“She has a great record here and it all fell into place for her,” O’Brien said. “She needs a really solid tempo to be at her best at this distance and she got it.

“I thought she was really brave to soak it up and then be strong to the line.”

The Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley in three weeks is next for Miss De Lago.

“We thought it was a nice progression, this race into the Feehan and she has a great record at Moonee Valley,” O’Brien said.

“The top line horses will be here for the Memsie and she’ll be suited by the mile of the Feehan so that’s where she will go.

“We’d love to win a Group I race with her, maybe a race like the Toorak (Handicap) later in the spring will suit.”