Victory at last - relieved O'Sullivan finally gets monkey off his back
Paul O'Sullivan's drought is over as he became the last handler to get on the score sheet and admitted relief rather than excitement was the overwhelming emotion to Good Boy Boy's victory.
The Align gelding again showed that he has plenty to learn, but was able to hold on from fast-finishing Mariachi to justify the backing that saw him start favourite for the third time in three starts.
It was O'Sullivan's first winner in 101 runners since Believe In Change scored at Happy Valley on June 2, with the New Zealander having a dry end to last term, then setting out this time around with a different approach and a slower start.
With all other trainers having landed their first win for the season weeks ago, O'Sullivan had endured a tough time with the spotlight on him alone.
'Some races you win are a real thrill - this one however was a relief,' said O'Sullivan. 'I did set about to handle the start of the season a bit differently this year, that's true, but it has been a long two and a half months just the same. Now that all the horses are getting a run or two under the belt, I'm expecting them to start to improve their form and come right again. A couple of the others today ran OK and I can see it coming together in the weeks ahead now we are over the first hurdle.'
O'Sullivan said Good Boy Boy had always shown some ability, but was still very new, something he again showed with his trait of throwing his head up and shifting ground on the circle yesterday.
'He'll be OK when he learns to race but he's learning slowly. A race or two at Happy Valley might be what he's looking for to focus him,' he said.
Long wait over
Number of runners Paul O'Sullivan sent out this campaign before scoring his first winner: 50