The John O’Shea-trained Sydney raider Holler proved far too good for his rivals in the Telstra Phonewords Stakes 2015 on Cox Plate Day absolutely bolting it in thanks to a genius ride from the in-form James McDonald.
All the money was on the Team Hawkes-trained Mawahibb in this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Telstra Phonewords Stakes (1200m), formerly the Red Anchor Stakes, at Moonee Valley.
The favourite however got posted fifth back and wide early and never got a clear run into the race.
Soon after a nice jump from barrier five with Wednesday’s Geelong Cup winning hoop McDonald on board, the nicely-bred Commands colt Holler worked through on the inside to lead the field around the tight Moonee Valley circuit.
Kerrin McEvoy rode Ciaron Maher’s Lonhro colt Brockhoff, coming off a fifth in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m), up into second on the outside of the classy front runner while Van Vacheron settled third.
Holler had a brilliant lead into the straight while Brockhoff was being hard-ridden behind him and the other O’Shea-trained hope in the race, McNeil Stakes third placed Demonstrate ridden by visiting international hoop James Doyle, was also working into the race in the closing stages.
But it was all about the impressive winner who romped home with ease, Holler ($3.50) beating home Brockhoff ($10) by five lengths with Demonstrate ($10) in third.
The winning time was just shy of the track record, McDonald at his magnificent best in the saddle of the big colt who was back in form after things went amiss when he ran last to stablemate Exosphere in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) back in September.
This time Holler was on the short seven-day back-up after running second in the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) on Caulfield Cup Day, and he was rock hard fit for McDonald in the Group 3.
“He never felt like he was going to get beaten,” McDonald said post-win.
“I’m sure it won’t be his last win. He’s a pretty good colt this horse.
“Obviously he’s a very big colt and it’s taken a bit of work to bring him on.
“But he’s got many more races in store for him this preparation and I can’t wait to back on his back.”
Godolphin representative Darren Beadman said the horse was always one of the stable’s most promising colts and it was great to have him live up to his potential.
“The other day he really put the writing on the wall,” Beadman said.
“Coming back 200m in distance…he was a fit horse and James took advantage of that and it was a lovely ride and a good solid effort from the horse.
“He’s a big strong colt and it really tuned him up for today.
“He’s always shown us a lot of promise at home.”
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2015 Telstra Phonewords Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Moonee Valley Race 4 – 24/10/2015
|1||1||HOLLER||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||5||56kg||$3.50|
|2||7||BROCKHOFF||Ciaron Maher||Kerrin McEvoy||4.25L||9||56kg||$10|
|3||2||DEMONSTRATE||John O’Shea||James Doyle||5L||3||56kg||$9|
|4||5||WELL SIGHTED||Ciaron Maher||Damien Oliver||5.75L||1||56kg||$19|
|5||3||MAWAHIBB||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Hugh Bowman||8.5L||8||56kg||$2.20F|
|6||9||VON VACHERON||Mick Price||Michael Dee (a)||9L||7||56kg||$71|
|7||4||MORE THAN MOST||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||9.75L||6||56kg||$21|
|8||10||ATLANTIC CITY||Mark Kavanagh||Craig Newitt||12L||2||56kg||$31|
|9||8||TRUCULENT||Shaun Dwyer||Stephen Baster||16.75L||10||56kg||$151|
|10||11||JANUARY RAIN||Angela Plumb||Jarrod Todd||26.75L||4||56kg||$301|
|–||6||ABILITY||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||–||0||–||–|