The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
The Chris Waller-trained Kolding continued his brilliant return to winning form with a runaway victory in Sydney’s Group 2 $500,000 Hill Stakes (2000m) on Epsom Day ahead of a potential 2020 Cox Plate target at the end of the month.
Waller made the call to withdraw last year’s Epsom champion from the same Group 1 mile event this season and instead extend Kolding out over the 2000m in the Hill Stakes 2020.
It proved the winning move as the flying son of Ocean Park blitzed his rivals with a runaway victory, successfully backing-up off his last start Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) success at the track from September 19.
“Everybody has jumped back on board,” Waller said post-win.
“I was getting lonely. Nothing is wrong with him. When a horse doesn’t win, we check all the pages but we couldn’t find a thing wrong with him.
“We’ve been justified with a Group 1 win last start and another good win this time.”
The George Main was Kolding’s first win since taking out the inaugural $7.5 million The Golden Eagle last spring and the now five-year-old looks set to continue his sensational comeback heading to Melbourne on October 24 at The Valley for the $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).
“Hopefully he can win three in a row because the next one might be a bit bigger,” Waller said.
“Winning form is good form. When the barrier draw came out for the Epsom, we took a blow but when you are racing in Sydney you have options and good prizemoney options as well.
“He’s just won a half-million dollar race and hasn’t affected his preparation. He can still march on to the Cox Plate next start.”
The Hill Stakes results also continued the flawless start to the day for hoop-of-the-moment James McDonald whose victory on Kolding in the Group 2 was his fourth on the trot at the meeting.
McDonald was the sixth jockey in as many starts to jump aboard Waller’s $6 million earner and he gave him a peach of a ride settled just off the pace in fourth in the Hill Stakes.
Just Thinkin’ with the blinkers back on revved up to take up front running and rolled along in the lead, while the favourite Fierce Impact settled towards the tail of the field three-wide early before getting on the back of Avilius.
Once on the straight, McDonald made an early move on Kolding who moved up to take the lead 250m out as Godolphin’s multiple Group 1 winner Avilius gave chase.
In the end Kolding ($3.60) drew clear for a two and a quarter-length victory over Avilius ($6.50), while Fierce Impact ($2.30F) ran third as the beaten favourite.
Waller famously won the Australasian weight-for-age championship a record four times on the trot with his equine superstar Winx (2015-18) and Kolding has been slashed in all-in Cox Plate betting at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au for the 2020 edition.
Before the Hill Stakes Kolding was at a Cox Plate quote of $67 and he can now be found at $19 with the latest markets available in full here.
2020 Hill Stakes Results
|1||2||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||2||59kg||$3.60|
|2||3||AVILIUS (GB)||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||2L||5||59kg||$6.50|
|3||1||FIERCE IMPACT (JPN)||Matthew Smith||Nash Rawiller||2.2L||6||59kg||$2.30F|
|4||8||DADOOZDART (GB)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||5.9L||1||59kg||$14|
|5||9||THINK IT OVER||Kerry Parker||Glen Boss||7.2L||7||59kg||$26|
|6||6||LIFE LESS ORDINARY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||7.7L||3||59kg||$26|
|7||10||JUST THINKIN’||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||9L||4||58kg||$9|
|8||5||DANCETERIA (FR)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||9.8L||8||59kg||$51|
|11||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||0|
|7||SIR CHARLES ROAD||Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott||Sam Clipperton||0|
|4||FINCHE (GB)||Chris Waller||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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