Contributer will be given the opportunity to record a maiden win at Group 1 level after he recorded a most impressive victory in the 2015 Apollo Stakes this afternoon.
Contributer was settled just worse than midfield by jockey James McDonald in the early stages of the race and the leading hoop made sure that the imported galloper could get to the outside of the field in the straight.
Team Hawkes-trained Ninth Legion took up the running in the early stages of the race, but Contributer showed an excellent turn-of-foot in the final stages of the race to record his second race win in three race starts in Australia.
McDonald has ridden Contributer in all three of his race starts in Australia and he was clearly delighted with the way that the High Chaparral entire savaged the line in the final stages of the Apollo Stakes.
“It was very good,” McDonald said.
“He relaxed beautifully and he has taken great improvement from the spring.
“Obviously he got off the plane and went out and won the Coongy and he ran credibly in the other race, but they were too good for him on that day.
“He has a turn-of-foot which most Europeans don’t come down with, so he has a bright future here in Australia.”
Contributer will be given a number of opportunities to win at the highest level of racing during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and he is set to head towards the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28, the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 and potentially the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
Ninth Legion and Expressway Stakes winner Weary both produced strong efforts, but arguably the run of the race came from talented mare Lucia Valentina.
Jockey Hugh Bowman elected to settle Lucia Valentina at the tail of the field in the early stages of the Apollo Stakes and she was more than ten lengths off the leader at the 500 metre mark, but she weaved her way through the rest of the field to finish a very close fourth in a very promising first-up run.
The Savabeel mare is set to have her next race start in the Chipping Norton Stakes and he will follow a similar path to Contributer for the rest of her autumn campaign.