Holler led from start to finish to record a maiden win at Group 1 level in the 2016 Canterbury Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Holler was extremely quick out of the gates and jockey James McDonald rode the three-year-old aggressively in the early stages of the race to take up the running, while Our Boy Malachi was slow out of the gates and Tommy Berry was forced to take a sit.
The Commands colt looked like a sitting duck as both First Seal and Our Boy Malachi loomed, but Holler was far too strong in the final stages of the race and his rivals were never able to make up any real ground.
Trainer John O’Shea was delighted that the plan to win the Canterbury Stakes with Holler had come off and he confirmed that the colt will return to Melbourne for the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 24.
“It was a wonderful team effort and a great plan that has come off,” O’Shea said.
“The team at Osborne have done a wonderful job and in Melbourne they gave him a good go when he won the Australia Stakes.
“We brought him home to Osborne and he just thrived in the last three weeks and it was another great James McDonald ride.
“I was really happy when I saw Our Boy Malachi step slowly because James had given every indication that he was going to try and control it.
“We knew we had a fit racehorse and it is nice when it comes off like that.
“I think we will send him back to Melbourne.
“He loves the Valley and he can go back there in the William Reid.
“We will see if he can continue on his way.”
McDonald was keen to take up the running on Holler in the early stages of the Canterbury Stakes and his decision to ride aggressively was arguably the crucial factor in the Group 1 event.
The leading hoop said that Holler travelled in a similar manner to last year’s Canterbury Stakes winner Cosmic Endeavour and he believes that the three-year-old can continue his stellar autumn campaign in the William Reid.
“He was awesome away, he travelled beautifully and he came up the rise like Cosmic Endeavour last year,” McDonald said.
“Over this 1300 it is always an asset to be in front and dictating the terms.”
First Seal and Kermadec were far from disgraced in the placings, while Criterion tired in the final stages of the race to finish at the tail of the field.