Wild Rain has completed an impressive start-to-finish performance to take out the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley this afternoon.
Wild Rain carried winning form into the McEwen Stakes this afternoon, but was somewhat forgotten in betting markets for the Group 2 sprint as punters focused their attention on race favourite Heatherly.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Stephen Baster allowed the mare to stride forward and take up the pace as Heatherly missed the start and was forced to settle towards the tail of the field.
Settling into a great rhythm and receiving an ideal run in transit, Wild Rain was offered a clear racing line upon arriving at the final straight; savaging the line and holding off late charges from Godolphin entrant Furnaces and a fast-finishing Heatherly.
Baster delivered a smart ride aboard Wild Rain to win the McEwen Stakes but was quick to lay the praise on the class of his mount in the success.
“I probably stepped a neck slower than I thought I would because she’s usually really fast out, but I look out and couldn’t see Heatherly and I thought, ‘well this is good!” Baster said after crossing the line
“I think we probably got an easy sectional there for the first furlong and I was just in my comfort zone.
“I was really surprised when Willo (Craig Williams, Furnaces) because I had let down really good and I thought ‘well, I’m in trouble here.
“To her credit she’s tough and all heart. She put her head out and just kept going to the line. I’m wrapped to be back on her.”
Trainer Mark Kavanagh was thrilled with Wild Rain’s performance for success in the McEwen Stakes, and confirmed the Group 1 Moir Stakes over course and distance will figure as her next competitive point of call.
“She’s going really well and she’s progressed nicely,” Kavanagh said.
“I was a bit surprised to see her in front today, because I thought this was going to be blistering pace and she’d get a good drag.
“With Heatherly going back like that, she could just run those sectionals which makes it hard for them to pick her up.
“She’s been very consistent, she’s been a great money spinner and she’s a Group 2 winner now.
“It’s three weeks now until the Moir. She’s got a great record here and she’s a specialist at 1000m.”
Wild Rain will be charged with overcoming the likes of Chautauqua and Buffering in the Moir Stakes 2016.