Dual Group One winner Kolding is Cox Plate bound following a facile win in the Gr.2 Quincy Seltzer Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The last start winner of the Gr1. George Main Stakes (1600m) was the first of four winners for jockey James McDonald on the feature race day.
Jumping from barrier two McDonald settled the five-year-old son of Ocean Park on speed, easing away from the field from the 400m mark to claim a two-length victory over Avilius with Fierce Impact third.
"Firm ground is the key to him and he has run that 2000 metres out really strongly so there are no queries to that," McDonald said.
"It worked out perfectly, they rolled along at a canter and dashed home and he had a good turn of foot."
Trainer Chris Waller elected to run Kolding in the Group Two race over the Gr.1 Epsom, the race he won last year, after he drew barrier 20.
"Winning form is good form. When the barrier draw came out for the Epsom we took a blow but when you are racing in Sydney you have options and good prizemoney options as well,” he said.
“He’s just won a half-million dollar race and hasn’t affected his preparation. He can still march on to the Cox Plate next start.”
Kolding has only had two previous starts in Melbourne, finishing unplaced at Caulfield in both appearances and prior to Saturday he had only had the one run over 2000m finishing eighth in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth.
“In the Queen Elizabeth he was at the end of his prep and it was a wet track so now was the time to try him after he had just won a Group One race,” Waller said.
“He will go to the Cox Plate. He deserves to. He doesn’t like Caulfield but let’s hope he likes Moonee Valley.
“Moonee Valley has a great camber and I’ve never taken a horse there that hasn’t handled it.”
The weight-for-age championship takes place on Saturday October 24.
Kolding was bred by Wentwood Grange in partnership with retired Australian businessman and former professional rugby league player, Warren Pegg, a long-time client of the Hawkins’ family.
Kolding is out of the Danzero mare Magic Star, a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Make Mine Magic.
Magic Star has produced eight foals, seven winners including stakes winners Sampson and Miss Upstart in addition to Kolding. Sadly Magic Star and her Astern colt foal died last spring.
Kolding was purchased by bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster out of Wentwood’s 2017 Premier Yearling Sale draft for $170,000 and he is raced by Neville and Judy Morgan, who also own impressive Gr.3 Breeders’ Plate winner Shaquero.
Kolding has now won 10 and placed in five of 24 starts to earn over A$5.89 million in prizemoney.
Click here to watch the replay of the Hill Stakes.