Magic Hurricane capped off a big day for Godolphin with an impressive staying performance in the 2015 The Metropolitan at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Trainer John O’Shea and jockey James McDonald had already combined to win the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) with Calliope, the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) with Ambience, the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) with Exosphere and the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) with Complacent and McDonald produced another peach of a ride to take out The Metropolitan with Magic Hurricane.
McDonald timed his run perfectly on Magic Hurricane and the in-form jockey said that the inside barrier was key to the winning chances of the imported stayer in The Metropolitan.
“It is amazing and it is fantastic to be apart of Godolphin’s team,” McDonald said.
“Gate one was just so important for us to win this race and as soon as the barriers came out I thought ‘yeah baby’.
“It is a credit to Sheik Mohammed, he has brought six European horses down and three of them have won Group 1s, so lets hope that Hartnell adds another one.”
John O’Shea made a slow start to his time as the head trainer of the Godolphin operation, but he has come into his own during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he revealed after The Metropolitan that this was easily the best day of his training career to date.
O’Shea was thrilled to see Magic Hurricane record a maiden win at Group 1 level in The Metropolitan and he is hopeful that the import has now done enough to earn a place in the 2015 Caulfield Cup field.
“I have never done anything remotely like that,” O’Shea said.
“From my perspective it is about the quality of the horses that I have to train, the people that I have around me and the facilities that I operate on.
“If most trainers had that at their disposal they would achieve similar results and I am humbled by the opportunity and always grateful for the performance of my team.
“We knew that we had the horses right and it was just a matter of Mac putting them in the right spot and things working out for us.
“We knew our preparation was right, so you always come here relaxed, it is when things don’t go well during the week that you get a bit nervous.
“Hopefully Magic has made his way into the race (the Caulfield Cup).
“He is just coming right and I said to the boys today that today would have him at his top.
“He still raced beautifully and I don’t know how he stands and if a penalty is good enough to get him into the race, but if they are happy enough to have him we are happy to run him and we will have three nice chances in the race.”
O’Shea has already had a massive week, but the leading trainer is hopeful that the North Queensland Cowboys and Johnathan Thurston can cap off his weekend with a win over the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL Grand Final tomorrow.
“God bless the Cowboys and JT,” O’Shea said.
Beaten Up produced another strong staying effort to finish second in The Metropolitan and he is another horse that will likely end up in the Caulfield Cup, while Havana Cooler flew home late to finish third.