Five-year-old horse Contributer proved the punters and race statistics right at Warwick Farm this afternoon, winning the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), which was the feature race of the day’s meeting.
Contributer had firmed to $2.50 favourite in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, justifying his odds in a terrific, grinding effort.
Chris Waller’s Weary led for much of the race while Contributer was midfield in fifth. With 600m to go, the favourite went forward, shooting to the front in the concluding stages. He just had enough to hold off stable mate Hartnell by half a length with He’s Your Man a further head behind in third, earning Waller a placing from his eight saddled runners.
Hartnell was second last out the gates, doing well to finish just off Contributer in second place on his Australian debut.
It was the third win of day for trainer John O’Shea and jockey James McDonald, with Godolphin earning the quinella in the race.
John O’Shea earned his first Group One win since joining racing giant Godolphin as head trainer last year in the 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes and was understandably elated with the win.
“It was great for a team effort more than anything,” he said.
“The whole team is here today and we all worked very hard to get this result, so it’s a nice start. To also see the second horse run very well is rewarding.”
“It’s a lovely result for everyone here heading into the autumn.”
McDonald found himself one out, one back and elected to come outside the leaders, really letting down and showing his class. The win wasn’t as emphatic as in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago but the jockey knew it would be a harder win.
“The team has taken so much on this horses coming out from Europe so the win means plenty to me, especially on this horse,” he said.
“I was very mindful of what was going to happen around me, keeping all my dangers around me and then figuring out what to do after that.
“The horse did the rest and credit to him, he’s a super horse.”
The jockey did note however that he was afraid he would be beaten at the post by stable mate Hartnell in the closing moments of the race.
“I was screaming at him ‘you’re a gelding, I’m a colt’ pull off.”
2015 Chipping Norton Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||5||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||4||59kg||$2.50F|
|2||13||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||James Doyle||0.5L||14||58.5kg||$18|
|3||4||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||0.7L||15||59kg||$9.50|
|4||14||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Kerrin McEvoy||1.3L||3||57kg||$10|
|5||9||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Christian Reith||1.4L||7||59kg||$61|
|6||1||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||1.7L||1||59kg||$41|
|7||10||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Timothy Bell||2.4L||12||59kg||$9|
|8||11||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||2.6L||2||59kg||$151|
|9||15||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||3.2L||11||57kg||$5.50|
|10||3||FIVEANDAHALFSTAR||Anthony Cummings||Sam Clipperton||3.8L||9||59kg||$101|
|11||8||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||5L||10||59kg||$14|
|12||12||DISCLAIMER (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Joshua Parr||7.2L||6||59kg||$151|
|13||6||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||7.5L||5||59kg||$41|
|14||2||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||9.9L||8||59kg||$13|
|15||7||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||10.2L||13||59kg||$101|