Luck has finally gone the way of Oceanex with the mare fighting bravely to secure a first stakes race victory at Flemington.
A winner over the course and distance in January, Oceanex took out the Group Two Matriarch Stakes (2000m) on Saturday which her trainers, Mick Price And Mick Kent Junior, say now makes her a valuable mare.
Before Saturday's success, Oceanex was beaten as an odds-on favourite in the Pinker Pinker Plate at Cranbourne before a check ended her chances in the Coongy Cup at Caulfield on October 19.
Oceanex was then beaten six lengths by Greysful Glamour, an opponent on Saturday, at The Valley on October 25.
"I was a bit concerned with the six lengths that she was beaten by," Price said.
"I thought how are we going to make that up, but I suppose barrier one and the big track at Flemington, she appreciates the big open space.
"She's had a really good prep without having a lot of luck, but to nail it in a Group Two makes her such a valuable broodmare now.
"So all of the bad luck is gone and we landed some good luck.
Price said McNeil was building a nice career, noting the jockey has a cool temperament.
That cool temperament was on display as McNeil was able to edge away from his inside draw on Oceanex at a vital stage.
"Flemington certainly suited her, but I didn't think the barrier was going to suit, especially the way the track was playing," McNeil said.
"But we got to edge away from the fence and she had plenty of time to build into the race.
"She really deserves this win today."