Generalife held off a fast-finishing Target In Sight to return to winning form in the 2015 Star Kingdom Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Generalife missed the start by three quarters of a length and jockey James McDonald was forced to settle the Lonhro gelding at the tail of the field, while Rain Affair made sure that the race was run at a good tempo.
McDonald elected to keep Generalife on the inside of the Rosehill Gardens track and he hit the front at the 150 metre mark, but Target In Sight flew home down the outside and looked like the winner at the 100 metre mark.
Target In Sight appeared to die on his run in the final 50 metres and Generalife got his nose down at the right time to record his first race win since he took out the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) in July last year.
Generalife’s victory gave McDonald an early treble at Rosehill Gardens, but he admitted after the race that he did not expect to be as far back in the field as he was in the early stages.
“He is a good horse this and he loves Rosehill,” McDonald said.
“It probably didn’t all go to plan and he got three back the rails after he didn’t muster speed that quickly, but he has done well and John has brought him here in great order.”
Generalife finished no worse than fourth in five race starts during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he was unable to record a race win and developed a reputation as a non-winner.
O’Shea said that the form coming out of the races that Generalife contested during his spring campaign has been extremely strong and he was not surprised that the five-year-old was able to return to winning form in the Star Kingdom Stakes.
“The key to this track at Rosehill is that if you end up back in the field you can always cut the corner as James did,” O’Shea said.
“The track is a lovely fair track at the moment and the horse tends to appreciate racing here.
“When you look back at the horses he was racing against, Lucky Hussler won a Group 1 last start, Fast ‘N’ Rocking ran out of his skin in both the Oakleigh Plate and The Galaxy, so it might have just been a testament to the quality of the horses he was racing.”
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2015 Star Kingdom Stakes Results
|1||4||GENERALIFE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||3||56kg||$3.40F|
|2||7||TARGET IN SIGHT||Joseph Pride||Blake Shinn||0.1L||9||55kg||$4|
|3||2||HOT SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||Damian Browne||0.3L||7||56.5kg||$9|
|4||3||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||Craig Williams||2.9L||5||56.5kg||$26|
|5||5||HEART TESTA||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||3.1L||1||56kg||$8.50|
|6||11||RYKER||Gai Waterhouse||Brenton Avdulla||3.2L||2||54kg||$17|
|7||10||LUCKY LAGO||Peter & Paul Snowden||Jim Cassidy||3.6L||6||54kg||$26|
|8||9||TAHITIAN BLACK||David Pfieffer||Christian Reith||5.7L||8||54kg||$26|
|9||6||SIDESTEP||John O’Shea||Nicholas Hall||6.9L||4||56kg||$6.50|
|10||1||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||Tommy Berry||9.6L||10||58kg||$26|