Chris Waller’s $6 million plus earner Kolding celebrated his third Group 1 success with a fighting photo-finish victory over the brave Godolphin-raced mare Savatiano in an outstanding edition of the Group 1 $600,000 All Aged Stakes (1400m).
Atoning for a lead-up flop on a Soft Rosehill track in the George Ryder Stakes, Ocean Park five-year-old Kolding got conditions to suit with a Good (4) Randwick track in the 2021 All Aged Stakes.
Enjoying his first victory since a two-length win over Avilius in the Group 2 Hill Stakes last October, the $7.5 million Golden Eagle winner was back to his best in an upset All Aged Stakes win thanks to a perfectly-timed ride by jockey Brenton Avdulla.
Avdulla had Kolding tracking along in a perfect position third throughout as Dreamforce led the All Aged Stakes field around.
On the home straight the winning jockey got off the fence, forcing Hugh Bowman to go a little wide aboard the James Cummings-trained Canterbury Stakes winner Savatiano, while Cascadian for the Godolphin stable was also finishing strongly.
In the final 200m it was Kolding and Savatiano fighting it out stride-for-stride, the mare looking a huge chance to post her fourth win on the trot.
She narrowly got her head in front just out from the line, but Kolding dug deep and fought back showing true grit and won in a devastatingly close finish.
In third to round out the All Aged Stakes trifecta was Savatiano’s stablemate Cascadian, ridden by the season’s leading hoop Jamie Kah, who was good late going up notably in weight off his upset win in the Doncaster Mile last start over ‘The Championships’.
For Waller it was another master training effort to get Kolding back to winning form and force the horse’s prize money up to just shy of a spot in the Top 20 all-time earning Australian racehorses.
It was also Waller’s second All Aged Stakes success after his 2009 victory with Danleigh.