Handfast has posted an early win for Godolphin on Day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick this afternoon; producing a scintillating turn of foot to comfortably take out the Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m).
Handfast was allocated the rails draw for his run in the South Pacific Classic and used the gate to his advantage when settling in an ideal position one pair back on the rails, experiencing a great run in transit.
Hugging the rail rounding onto the final straight, jockey James McDonald threaded the needle with the Street Cry gelding before locking in a fierce sprint battle with Santa Ana Lane, but managed to comfortably pull clear in the dying stages of the race to post a two-length win.
McDonald delivered a gem of a ride on Handfast to win the South Pacific Classic and believes trainer John O’Shea’s decision to add blinkers to the horse was decisive in the impressive performance.
“The day flows very smoothly after you get a winner, so it’s good to get one,” McDonald said.
“He’s a lovely horse, but all credit goes to John because he whacked a hood on him this time because he got beaten in a small race last start.
“John obviously had a good opinion of his work and put him in this race, and he delivered very stylishly.
“One of my very good mates rode him in Timmy Bell, so it’s just great he’s saluted on such a big day and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
O’Shea was pleased with Handfast’s performance to win the 2016 South Pacific Classic and was pleased the addition of blinkers paid dividends.
“I think it was the blinkers today,” he said.
“The other day he flew off the track and had to do a bit of work early against older horses, so we were a little bit forgiving of him.
“It gave us the opportunity to put the hood on him today, back in trip and I think barriers are very important here today and he got the right barrier.
“We’re pretty confident of where you need to be and I think where James was today was pretty spot on.”
Handfast continued to firm in the hours leading up to jump in the South Pacific Classic and left as an $8.50 market mover with Ladbrokes Australia.