The Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) kicked off the five back-to-back Group One races at Rosehill this afternoon with a small yet highly talented field of seven middle-distance runners.
Roughie Fast Dragon took the early lead after jumping while Chris Waller’s He’s Your Man went to the back of the field at the tail-end. Following Fast Dragon was defending champion Silent Achiever, Japanese horse Tosen Stardom, and John Moore’s Dominant.
Fast Dragon continued to lead into the home turn with six lengths on his rivals however with 400 metres to go the stars of the race all started to make their way up. Lucia Valentina was taken out, blocked by Fast Dragon, while race favourite Contributer did brilliantly to get through and win over one length ahead of Tosen Stardom, making his Australian debut, while unlucky Lucia Valentina rounded out the first three.
The punters seemed to get it right as the first three all finished in market order at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The John O’Shea-trained Contributer is one of the best weight-for-age runners in the country, displaying a brilliant turn of foot to win with ease. It was the third consecutive campaign win for the five-year-old, who is gearing up for The Championships in a fortnight.
James McDonald delivered the winning ride, getting up and turning around to face his rivals as he flew to the line.
“Unbelievable, let’s get this party started because five Group 1s on this day is going to be awesome,” he said.
“The run was pretty basic really, I was a bit slow away and went three back but this horse is superior to any other racing in the country and he stamped himself as one of the best horses in Australia today.
O’Shea delivered the first win of the day for Godolphin, but expect plenty more to come in the next few hours.
“James has always been adamant that if we ride the horse a little quieter he’ll excel better, I think we saw that today,” the trainer said.
“It was a wonderful performance, an electric turn of foot, and we’ve been happy with him at home.
“The firm ground was a big worry for us but the horse told us he was comfortable and James rode him accordingly.”
Contributer will now head towards the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 11, which O’Shea is keeping calm about.
“Get him home, keep him going, and turn up in three weeks time,” is the trainer’s plan.
2015 Ranvet Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||1||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||5||59kg||$2.50F|
|2||5||TOSEN STARDOM (JPN)||Yasutoshi Ikee||Tommy Berry||1.3L||1||58.5kg||$4.40|
|3||7||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||2.6L||2||57kg||$6|
|4||6||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Kerrin McEvoy||3L||6||57kg||$9|
|5||2||DOMINANT (IRE)||John Moore||Damien Oliver||3.6L||3||59kg||$21|
|6||3||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||4.1L||7||59kg||$7|
|7||4||FAST DRAGON||Bruce Wallace||Brenton Avdulla||4.2L||4||59kg||$61|