Adding to a massive day of racing for Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse, million dollar colt Wandjina lived up to his breeding and his hefty price tag with a gutsy all-the-way win in the Australian Guineas 2015 at Flemington Racecourse.
Waterhouse only moments earlier won the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes in Sydney with her Doncaster Mile-bound mare Cosmic Endeavour before in-form Snitzel colt Wandjina got the bikkies in this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
“He’s been a horse we’ve had a huge belief in,” Bloodstock agent James Harron, representing the winning connections, said after the win.
“He’s got a great pedigree so it’s great to see him win a Group 1.”
Fly-in hoop from Hong Kong Brett Prebble gave the Australian Guineas winner a typical dominant ride up front, the horse fast away from the barriers to find the lead and set the pace.
Taking control of the mile classic, Prebble and Wandjina lead ahead of Chivalry and Merion with Stratum Star getting a nice run fourth on the inside.
Race favourite Kermadec from the Chris Waller stables meanwhile was tracking about seventh during the run.
A thousand metres out, Prebble had Wandjina sitting pretty and leading into the turn for home.
The challengers came down the straight including Tassie visitor Admiral and the still very green Alpine Eagle down the outside who has lots of improving to come.
But at the 300m mark Wandjina ($8) kicked up and responded beautifully to his hoop on the inside to hold off Tony McEvoy’s Group 2 Autumn Classic winner Alpine Eagle ($5) who lost no admirers and the Darren Weir-trained Stratum Star ($7.50) who had no excuses after a soft run.
Kermadec was also flashing home late, but wasn’t quite able to make up the ground to get to Wandjina and Prebble who made his own luck, controlling the tempo to give Waterhouse her second Australian Guineas win following that of Al Maher (2005) a decade ago.
“He’s been well trained,” a modest Prebble said after the win.
“He’s tough and he’s fit.
“He’s a proper horse.”
Wandjina has a host of autumn options now both in Sydney and Melbourne including a possible run up against his Canterbury Stakes winning stablemate in the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 4 on Day 1 of The Championships.
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2015 Australian Guineas Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 7 – 07/03/2015
|1||7||WANDJINA||Gai Waterhouse||Brett Prebble||–||9||56.5kg||$8|
|2||10||ALPINE EAGLE||Tony McEvoy||Douglas Whyte||0.2L||6||56.5kg||$4.80|
|3||5||STRATUM STAR||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||0.6L||4||56.5kg||$8|
|4||9||KERMADEC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||1.35L||7||56.5kg||$3.10F|
|5||3||ADMIRAL||Barry Campbell||Dwayne Dunn||2.85L||5||56.5kg||$14|
|6||8||MERION (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Steven Arnold||3.35L||11||56.5kg||$31|
|7||6||CHIVALRY||Mark Kavanagh||Damian Lane||4.1L||10||56.5kg||$18|
|8||13||MINNESINGER||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Craig Williams||4.85L||3||56.5kg||$20|
|9||11||FIREHOUSE ROCK Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||5.25L||12||56.5kg||$31|
|10||17e||MANAPINE||Nigel Blackiston||James Winks||5.35L||8||56.5kg||$151|
|11||16||SWEET AND SPEEDY||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||6.1L||13||54.5kg||$31|
|12||2||PETROLOGY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||6.2L||1||56.5kg||$18|
|13||12||LUCKY LIBERTY Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Henry Dwyer||Ms Michelle Payne||6.3L||14||56.5kg||$31|
|14||15||FONTEIN RUBY Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Robert Smerdon||Chad Schofield||8.8L||2||54.5kg||$14|
|–||1||ROMMEL||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||–||0||–||–|
|–||4||TESTASHADOW||Gary Portelli||Dean Yendall||–||0||–||–|
|–||14||ROD’S OPINION Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||John Hickmott||Steven King||–||0||–||–|