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By Graham Potter | Monday, May 2, 2022

It could turn out to be a big eight days for trainer Desleigh Forster.

The first leg of a well-orchestrated, targeted attack on a Saturday to Saturday feature race double is already safely tucked away in the bank followed Exo Lady’s end to end with in Listed Dalrello Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday … and later the week the Forster stable star, Apache Chase, will look the complete the deal when he runs in The Archer, the big $440 000 feature race at Rockhampton.

The fact that Exo Lady jumped at a starting of $14 compared to the Steady Ready’’s rock-solid price at the top of the boards of $2.20 in the Dalrello … was weighed more in favour of the great expectation surrounding Steady Ready than the exposed ability of Exo Lady. $14 turned out to be silly odds.

Exo Lady had only been beaten once in four starts going into the Dalrello. The daughter of Exosphere was unbeaten in her first three starts, a sequence which culminated with a win in the Listed Calaway Gal back in December.

Exo Lady’s only defeat came in her fourth start in the Aquis Gold Pearl at the Gold Coast … she finished unplaced there … after which she was spelled.

She did score a trial win on April 19 to announce her well being and was clearly perfectly primed for her first up assignment in the Dalrello by Forster … although, apart from the result, the race did not go to plan.

“She was a bit hot in the ring beforehand and I was surprised she was like that. She is normally so laid back. Even when she had her first start, I kept saying … I just don’t think she is a two-year-old,” said jockey Jim Byrne.

“She just doesn’t give you that feeling, because she is so laid back. The I saw her in the yard on Saturday!!!

“Here I was thinking I’d be sitting in the second or third pair … but she was out like a bullet.

“She is just a star,” continued Byrne. “Something has come at her every time.

“She is tough. Another important thing about her is that she is adaptable. She can go back … we have ridden her quiet. She can go forward as we saw in the Dalrello. Her only failure was on a soft track.

“She is just a lovely animal and I’m very pleased to be on her.”

Another Desleigh Forster trained runner Byrne is pleased to be on is the very well performed Apache Chase who Byrne will ride in the Stradbroke when the signature race-day of the Queensland Winter Carnival come arounds on June 11.

But both Apache Chase and Byrne have business to attend to before that.

Byrne, in fact, will miss a big carnival meeting … staying on board Apache Chase and travelling to Rockhampton for The Archer on May 7, in preference to staying at home and riding at the much more high profile meeting at the Gold Coast on the same day.

There will be no $14 about Apache Chase’s chances in Rockhampton’s biggest race with the Forster runner (at $4.20) currently vying for favouritism with Streets Of Avalon ($4.50).

Oh, and if Apache Chase dies make it career win number nine on Saturday, watch out for Desleigh Forster’s joyous victory jig which is becoming synonymous with her feature race wins.

More articles

Desleigh Firster and Jim Byrne ... a winning combination
Desleigh Firster and Jim Byrne ... a winning combination
Exo Lady gets the job done in the Dalrello
Exo Lady gets the job done in the Dalrello
Apache Chase ... a big chance in The Archer

Photos: Darren Winningham
Apache Chase ... a big chance in The Archer

Photos: Darren Winningham
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