Godolphin runner Vashka has returned to the winner’s circle in style at Caulfield Racecourse this afternoon; maintaining a strong enough sprint to withstand a late charge from clear race favourite Under The Louvre in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m).
Vashka jumped from the barriers well in the Moonga Stakes and was immediately led for the fore of the field by jockey James McDonald; setting a reasonably tempo away from the barriers and towards the bend.
Offered a clear racing line upon arriving at the final straight, Vashka hugged the rails and kicked up a gear; pulling comfortably clear of the chasing pack and while appearing to fade late, managed to hold on for an eighth career win.
McDonald delivered a typically brilliant performance aboard Vashka to win 2015 Moonga Stakes and believed trainer John O’Shea instructions to allow the horse to stride forward early in the race was imperative in the success.
“He travelled beautifully and really suits Caulfield, especially with the firm track,” McDonald said after crossing the line.
“Credit to the team, they’ve kept him up and peaking for the right day and hopefully he’ll keep going.
“He rolled along and John gave me terrific instructions to just let him stride, and he’s a happy horse when you do that.
“It won’t be his last.”
O’Shea was pleased with Vashka’s Moonga Stakes triumph, and confirmed the horse will return to the paddock with a view towards the 2016 Autumn Carnival.
“I think for the Sydney horses first go at Caulfield, if you can find the rail it’s a big advantage,” O’Shea said.
“It was a really good team effort to get him here and it’s just nice to get one on the board today.
“He’s a big brute of a fella and despite the fact he was kept was kept very busy, he gets them out of their comfort zone early and keeps running.
“He’s a tough little horses and we think at some stage next year he’ll make a weight-for-age horse over 1400m or 1500m and you might see him back here early in the year.
“I think we’ll just give him a break now, get him back here early in the year because there’s some lovely weight-for-age racing where if he’s fit and on speed he might be able to do something similar to today.”
Punters who backed Vashka to win the 2015 Moonga Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au have been paid out on Top Tote or SP plus 20% – an offer available on all races remaining on 2015 Caulfield Cup Day!