Complacent and Hauraki will both head to the 2015 Caulfield Cup in a fortnight after they fought out the finish in a thrilling edition of the 2015 Craven Plate at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Celtic Prince took up the running in the early stages of the Craven Plate and made sure that the race was run at a good clip, while Complacent settled in the trail and Hauraki was back in the pack with Joao Moreira in the saddle.
Complacent was forced to drag the rest of the field up to Celtic Prince coming into the straight and he looked like a sitting duck when Hauraki loomed on the outside and the talented four-year-old got his nose in front, but Complacent was able to fight back in game fashion to record a thrilling victory.
McDonald admitted after the race that he thought Moreira had him beaten on Hauraki in the final stages of the Craven Plate, but he was thrilled with the toughness that Complacent showed as he continues to make an impressive return from injury.
“I am relieved, he was a short-priced favourite,” McDonald said.
“It is a credit to the horse, he had to drag the whole field up and he did it well.
“It is awesome to see the internationals rider here competing and it makes us ride to a new level.
“The team have done a wonderful job and they deserve all the credit.”
Trainer John O’Shea was thrilled to see his two horses fight out the finish in the Craven Plate and he revealed that he initially felt for James McDonald, who originally wanted to take the ride on Hauraki, but was forced to remain on Complacent.
O’Shea said that he was delighted with the performance of both horses and he confirmed that they would both press on to the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17.
“We knew that Hauraki was ready to fire today and he acquitted himself really well,” O’Shea said.
“He got himself back into the game in terms of the Caulfield Cup.
“There was no loafing and that will really toughen him up for a fortnight.
“Complacent has 53 and Mac has to get on a diet now and hopefully Joao will come back to ride Hauraki with about 50.
“I think that they are two nice chances.”
Veteran gelding I’m Imposing received absolutely no luck in running, but he was still able to find the line strongly to finish third, while Moriarty produced an honest performance to finish fourth.