The Jenny Graham-trained Victorem scored an...
Kolding has realised his top line potential at Royal Randwick by winning the $1 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) this afternoon.
Kolding has been a strong and consistent performer for Chris Waller since debuting, but there is no doubt that he has returned to the races in career-best form this time and hovered around favouritism in 2019 Epsom Handicap all week.
Having been charged with jumping from the potentially awkward barrier 12, Glen Boss was able to find a good position in transit; initially on the heels of Archedemus, before the pair were joined and led by Dreamforce across the back straight and approaching the turn.
The four-year-old son of Ocean Park cruised into the straight and was immediately offered a clear line; kicking away from his rivals before being joined at the 200m by joint-favourite Te Akau Shark, but ultimately holding on to confirm the win.
An emotional Chris Waller was trackside at Randwick and was thrilled to see Kolding named the 2019 Epsom Handicap winner; his 105th Group 1 winner.
“Obviously a very special win, the owners and Glen Boss – he rode my first Group 1 winner,” Waller said.
“It started the confidence and I haven’t been in tears for a while, but I’m getting a bit emotional about it.
“Since he went to Queensland (in winter), he’s never looked back. Even going there he went there in good form and I think that he’ll continue on from this too. Looking at him in the pre-race parade, he’s still got a bit of improvement in him.”
Waller is yet to confirm the next campaign target for Kolding but suggested either the Cox Plate of the inaugural Golden Eagle would be fitting races.
“He’s a Golden Eagle contender and obviously he’s only four, so it will either be that or the Cox Plate,” he said.
“He probably needs to be a little more dominant to win a Cox Plate, but we’ll give it some thought. The Golden Eagle, home track, big prize money and obviously it’s a new race we’re thinking about now.”
Star Of The Seas enjoyed a dream run in transit and finished third, while the ever-dangerous Gem Song lost no admirers with a hard-fought fourth.
As for the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 26, Kolding is a $34 chance to hand Waller his fifth straight win in the WFA classic after the historic four-peat of Winx (2015-18).
2019 Epsom Handicap Results & Finishing Order
|1||9||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||–||12||50.5kg||$5.50EF|
|2||4||TE AKAU SHARK (NZ)||Jamie Richards||James McDonald||0.1L||15||54.5kg||$5.50EF|
|3||14||STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||3.1L||13||50kg||$13|
|4||5||GEM SONG||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||3.5L||4||52kg||$11|
|5||10||ROCK||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Kerrin McEvoy||4.1L||11||50.5kg (cd 51kg)||$11|
|6||16||NETTOYER||Wendy Roche||Ben Thompson||4.5L||14||50kg||$31|
|7||15||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Robbie Dolan (a)||4.9L||1||50kg||$15|
|8||3||FIFTY STARS (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Tim Clark||5L||6||54.5kg||$15|
|9||19||DESERT LORD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James Innes Jnr||5.2L||8||50kg||$26|
|10||2||BEST OF DAYS (GB)||James Cummings||Tommy Berry||5.7L||5||55kg||$26|
|11||7||MR MARATHON MAN (GB)||Michael Moroney||Dean Holland||6.9L||9||51kg||$61|
|12||6||UNFORGOTTEN||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||7.1L||2||51kg||$26|
|13||18||THE CANDY MAN||Barry Baldwin||Brock Ryan (a)||7.3L||17||50kg||$101|
|14||20||JUNIPAL||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Damien Thornton||7.8L||16||50kg||$26|
|15||17||KAONIC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Andrew Gibbons||7.9L||7||50kg||$61|
|16||8||MANTASTIC (IRE)||Chris Waller||Andrew Adkins||8.3L||10||51kg||$101|
|17||1||DREAMFORCE||John Thompson||Nash Rawiller||10.6L||19||57kg||$7|
|18||12||LE JUGE (IRE)||Chris Waller||Ms Jess Taylor||10.9L||18||50.5kg||$201|
|19||11||ARCHEDEMUS||Gwenda Markwell||Dom Tourneur||14.7L||3||50.5kg||$61|
|–||13||EL DORADO DREAMING||Kris Lees||Ms Rachel King||–||0||–||–|
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