Four-year-old Kermadec has stamped himself as a legitimate chance for a major Spring Carnival feature race at Royal Randwick this afternoon; producing a huge turn of foot in the final straight to take out the featured Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Glyn Schofield allowed the Teofilo entire to stride forward and take at the early pace, but eased back when joined at the fore of the field of nine by Hooked, Royal Descent and Pornichet.
Receiving a dream run in transit behind the leading three rounding onto the final straight, Schofield allowed Kermadec time to balance with 400m before the stallion prospect charged forward alongside stable mate Royal Descent; running three-abreast with Pornichet but doing enough to hit the line half a length in the clear.
Schofield picked up the ride on Kermadec when regular ride Glen Boss was ruled out of the race through suspension, and was thrilled to repay trainer Chris Waller with success in the 2015 George Main Stakes.
“What a super horse he is,” Schofield said.
“We just had to come back an extra fair because James didn’t want to go to the fence and I wasn’t going to push him and get into a bumping duel early.
“I just came back and following him, Pornichet pinched a nice mark on straightening but I had him in my sights and he was never in doubt really.
“He’s a top horse and he’s done it at weight-for-age. He’s progressed through the grades, won a Group 1 Handicap and now on the big stage.
“Well done to Chris and the team.”
Waller was thrilled with Kermadec’s third-up win in the George Main Stakes and revealed he will now set his sights on the 2015 Cox Plate (2040m) in late October, rather than the Epsom Handicap at Randwick in a fortnight.
“It was good to see,” Waller said.
“At the 100m mark I said to myself today’s the day, you’ve got to stand up and I looked away, but sure enough he knuckled down.
“More things went his way today – it wasn’t perfect but he was strong the last 200m and that was good heading towards a Caulfield Stakes and Cox Plate.
“He’s done it now in terms of a mile and we’ve got to try to get a big weight-for-age next to his name.
“He’s a colt, he’s a Doncaster winner, he’s lightly-raced and if we can get one of those big ones in Melbourne, he’s a very valuable horse.
“If he’s trained right, he’ll win it.”
Popular mare Royal Descent continued to claim admirers in running on for a close second in the George Main Stakes, while Pornichet continued to steadily build towards a Cox Plate tilt of his own in finishing third.