The 2014 The Goodwood is next on the agenda for Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas’ smart four-year-old Essay Raider who scored an emphatic Morphettville win on the weekend.
The father and son-in-law training team celebrated three Group wins across two states Saturday, including the $115,000 Group 3 DC McKay Stakes (1100m) to round out the day at home in Adelaide.
Still on a high after wins in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes with South Australian Derby-bound Gamblin’ Guru earlier on the Morphettville card and Group 1 Champagne Stakes at Royal Randwick in Sydney with Melbourne Spring Carnival hope Go Indy Go, Essay Raider made it a trifecta for the trainers.
“It would have to be (my biggest day as a trainer),” Macdonald told The Advertiser on Saturday.
“Who else but maybe Gai Waterhouse wins three Group races in a day?
“It was sensational.”
A full brother to Group 1 champ Go Indy Go, Bernardini gelding Essay Raider also now has an elite level target after beating home Richard Jolly’s Karacatis ($4.20) by three lengths in the DC McKay Stakes on Robert Sangster Stakes Day.
Ridden by the in-form Jason Holder, Essay Raider raced into contention for the $500,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 10 with their crushing weekend effort.
It was exactly the kind of run his trainers needed to see, the quirky sprinter finally showing the ability they’ve always thought him capable of.
“He’s a good horse on his day,” Macdonald said.
“I was hoping (to see that sort of effort), it was all over on the home turn.”
If they do back up in The Goodwood they’ll be facing another Morphettville winner from the weekend, the very classy Gai Waterhouse-trained Driefontein who left them in her wake in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m).
While not denying Driefontein as the one to beat in the upcoming classic, Macdonald still rates Essay Raider a shot at the title.
The two have met once before when Fastnet Rock mare Driefontein won the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m), a race Essay Raider could only manage to run three lengths away fourth in.
“She’s obviously the one to beat, however he does meet her better at the weights than he met her in the Irwin,” Macdonald explained.
“She’s going terrific, but he’s a genuine chance in the race.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on The Goodwood including nominations due out next week.
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2014 DC McKay Stakes Results
Morphettville Race 8 – 26/04/2014
|1||6||ESSAY RAIDER||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Jason Holder||–||9||54kg||$5|
|2||4||KARACATIS||Richard Jolly||Dwayne Dunn||3L||5||55kg||$4.20|
|3||5||SIWA LADY||Darren Weir||Daniel Stackhouse||3.6L||8||54kg||$17|
|4||10||GENERAL PEEKAY||Mick Price||Dean Yendall||3.7L||4||54kg||$9|
|5||11||MINAJ (NZ)||Anthony Freedman||Ronnie Stewart||3.8L||7||54kg||$3.90F|
|6||9||NEAREST TO PIN||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Adrian Patterson||3.8L||10||54kg||$13|
|7||1||CONSERVATORIUM||Gary Kennewell||Craig Williams||4.7L||3||60kg||$9.50|
|8||2||IT IS WRITTEN||Robbie Griffiths||Matthew Allen||5.5L||2||56.5kg||$10|
|9||3||ESPRIT DE BULLET (NZ)||John Hyam||Matthew Neilson||6.7L||1||56kg||$13|
|10||13||COULDN’T AGREEMORE||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||7.1L||6||54kg||$12|
|–||7||HIDDEN VALUE||Trevor Dansie & Natasha Storr||Simon Price||–||0||–||–|
|–||12||KNEELING||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||–||0||–||–|
|–||8||ALMIGHTY BULLET||John Hyam||Troy Baker||–||0||–||–|