Godolphin stable stalwart It’s Somewhat celebrated a successful Ajax Stakes 2017 title defence winning the Coolmore Classic Day Group 2 first-up on way to possible Doncaster Mile bid this autumn.
Last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival the John O’Shea-trained son of Dynaformer took out the $200,000 Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) and on Saturday he went back-to-back in the race for the first time since Confiscate (1998-99).
The pace in the race was set by the Gary Portelli-trained Testashadow who was hard-ridden by his hoop Sam Clipperton to get up front and lead from the Kris Lees-trained Singing and Joe Pride’s New Tipperary.
Chris Waller’s French import and race favourite Arod meanwhile was last in running and disappointing late never working his way into the mix.
High Chaparral four-year-old New Tipperary second-up did plenty of work running three wide, while the rails run around the bend belonged to the well-supported Dibayani.
He cut the corner and moved up to join Testashadow on the straight, but dropped out of contention by the 200m.
It’s Somewhat and English hoop William Buick, who also saluted in the first of the day aboard Spectroscope, charged home with a late inside run producing a great finish.
“This horse was really honest, really game and the further we were going the better he was so I knew he was going to be good late,” Buick said.
The defending champion just held out a late-lunging New Tipperary, while Testashadow held on for a fighting third to round out the Ajax Stakes trifecta.
O’Shea said post-win that a shot at the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 1 could see out the galloper’s autumn before they headed up to the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Last season It’s Somewhat ran third to Our Ivanhowe in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) and the $650,000 feature on May 20 is again on the agenda.
“He’s all but broken the million dollar mark today,” O’Shea said of It’s Somewhat.
“He’s been a great servant for us.
“It was a really good performance today.
“Ultimately [the Doomben Cup] is where he’s headed.
“We might give him one more run in the Doncaster [here in Sydney] and then the Hollindale.”
The $358,000 Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) runs at the Gold Coast on May 6 as a traditional Doomben Cup lead-up and It’s Somewhat ran fifth in the race last year before his Group 1 placing.
To back It’s Somewhat over the autumn into his Brisbane winter bid at the right racing odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
2017 Ajax Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 8 – 11/03/2017
|1||1||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||John O’Shea||William Buick||–||1||59kg||$9.50|
|2||10||NEW TIPPERARY||Joseph Pride||Brenton Avdulla||0.2L||8||53kg||$10|
|3||7||TESTASHADOW||Gary Portelli||Sam Clipperton||0.4L||10||55kg||$15|
|4||3||HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Kerrin McEvoy||1.6L||3||58.5kg||$4F|
|5||12||NO DOUBT||Anthony & Edward Cummings||Daniel Moor||2.2L||4||53kg||$21|
|6||9||SLOW PACE (USA)||Kris Lees||Andrew Adkins (a)||2.5L||5||53kg||$101|
|7||6||CYLINDER BEACH (NZ)||Desleigh Forster||Glyn Schofield||2.6L||7||56kg||$6.50|
|8||11||FLOODLIGHT (USA)||John O’Shea||Jay Ford||2.7L||9||53kg||$31|
|9||5||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Blake Shinn||2.8L||2||58kg||$4.60|
|10||2||AROD (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||2.9L||11||58.5kg||$6|
|11||8||SINGING (FR)||Kris Lees||Tim Clark||6.8L||6||53.5kg||$15|
|–||4||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||–||0||–||–|