The Godolphin stable celebrated another feature race win on Chelmsford Stakes Day with smart galloper Hauraki posting a first-up success at Royal Randwick in the Tramway Stakes 2016.
The John O’Shea-trained Reset gelding made his five-year-old debut in Saturday’s $175,000 Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) with star Sydney-based hoop James McDonald in the mount.
Hauraki finished off his winter campaign in great form posting a Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) second behind Caulfield Cup placegetter Our Ivanhowe in Brisbane and was back as good as ever in Sydney in the Tramway.
The import broke a notable winning drought with his first victory since the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill in March of 2015 as a three-year-old, after which he ran second in the ATC Derby.
He was also twice Group 1 placed in the autumn behind Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) for third and second in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) to The United States.
Having his first look at a Heavy track, Hauraki handled the conditions well and was too good for his Tramway Stakes rivals on the back of a well-timed ride by jockey of the moment McDonald.
“He travelled well,” McDonald said post-win.
“The track’s held up really well considering the rain we’ve had.”
Race favourite Dibayani was one of the first into stride after the jump, with Sons Of John also away well to take up the early lead.
The Kris Lees-trained Randwick Guineas winner and top weight Le Romain, fresh off his second in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) a fortnight ago, meanwhile sat fifth on the rails with Happy Clapper on his outside.
With 800m to go Hauraki was racing on the inside third last, McDonald biding his time.
On the home turn Sons Of John extended his lead around the corner, but once on the straight Hauraki pulled to the outside and started to close the gap on those in front.
Over the final 200m Le Romain ($4.40) burst through along the rails, but Hauraki ($13) hit the lead out wide and raced off for a strong three-quarter length win, while the looming favourite Dibayani ($3.90) for Lindsay Park finished third in another placing.
“He brought his A-game and was too good,” McDonald said of the Tramway Stakes winner.
Godolphin representative John Ferguson indicated the stable was looking to race Hauraki in the $1 million Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) over the Randwick mile on October 1.
“Hopefully he can go for a Group 1 weight-for-age win [in the George Main Stakes] and then the Epsom Handicap,” he said.
Trainer O’Shea enjoyed an Epsom Handicap success a decade ago with Racing To Win (2006) who came off a victory in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
Should Haruaki go down the same path and run in the 2016 George Main Stakes on September 17, he’ll face off against the Chris Waller-trained Winx who was scratched from the Chelmsford Stakes due to the Heavy track.
Back Hauraki next race and access all the spring Group 1 futures racing markets on events like the Epsom Handicap online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2016 Tramway Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 8 – 03/09/2016
|1||3||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||6||57kg||$13|
|2||1||LE ROMAIN||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||0.8L||1||58kg||$4.40|
|3||9||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Blake Shinn||0.9L||7||55kg||$4F|
|4||4||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||John O’Shea||Tim Clark||2L||5||57kg||$9|
|5||2||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Brenton Avdulla||2.6L||2||57kg||$8.50|
|6||7||SONS OF JOHN||Jason Attard||Jeff Penza||3L||9||56kg||$12|
|7||5||SADLER’S LAKE||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4.6L||8||56.5kg||$7|
|8||10||COSMIC CUBE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||4.8L||3||55kg||$9|
|9||6||GUST OF WIND (NZ)||John Sargent||Joshua Parr||39.5L||4||56kg||$41|
|–||11||HEAVENS ABOVE||Tim Martin||Jason Collett||–||0||–||–|
|–||8||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||–||0||–||–|