Wentwood Grange graduate Kolding (NZ) (Ocean Park) smashed through the A$6 million in stakes mark with a gritty win in the Gr.1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Kolding and Savatiano edged clear over the final 200m in a two-horse war and the Godolphin mare looked to get the better of the gutsy gelding before Kolding kicked back on the line to nab her by a short half-head.
“I did think we were beaten and then I could just gradually see him coming and I was thinking, this time normally in a prep he’s running over 2000 metres so he’s going to be strong late. These are the sorts of things rushing through your mind, your hopes at the 100 metre mark,” trainer Chris Waller said.
While the five-year-old gelding traditionally stretches out to a middle-distance later in his campaigns, the presence of star stablemate Verry Elleegant and English raider Addeybb prompted Waller to dodge that pair in the Ranvet and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Instead, Kolding was freshened for a distance drop after finishing unplaced in the Gr.1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and struck his preferred firm track on Saturday.
“I think he probably doesn’t get a lot of credit when he’s been getting beaten on wet tracks, which has been most of this preparation in fact,” Waller said.
“He is a much better horse in Sydney on the right leg. He’s a good horse and he showed it today.”
Kolding has now won at the elite level on three occasions, with victories in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) and George Main Stakes (1600m) now joined by an All Aged Stakes triumph, while he also has the notable achievement of being the inaugural A$7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) victor.
The son of Ocean Park jumped from barrier three and was given an economical ride by Brenton Avdulla, who trailed Dreamforce (Fastnet Rock) throughout and made his move at the optimum time.
“It’s taken me five years to ride him race day but finally I got on him at the right time, with a firm track and good draw to just lob behind the leader,” Avdulla said.
“To his credit he knuckled down when Savatiano challenged him. He toughed it out really well.”
A son of Waikato Stud-based stallion Ocean Park, Kolding was bred in partnership by Wentwood Grange and retired Australian businessman and former professional rugby league player, Warren Pegg and his wife Barb, who has been a client of the Hawkins family’s Wentwood Grange since it commenced operation in the year 2000.
Out of the Danzero mare Magic Star, Kolding is a half-brother to multiple stakes winning stayer Sampson and the Listed winner Miss Upstart (Snippetson).
Offered through Wentwood Grange’s 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale draft, Kolding was purchased by Guy Mulcaster for $170,000 on behalf of prominent Queensland owner Neville Morgan, a long-time supporter of Mulcaster and Waller.
Kolding has now won 11 of his 30 starts with a further seven placings and has career earnings of A$6,387,200.
Cambridge nursery Wentwood Grange enjoyed a good day as they also bred and sold Listed Princess Stakes (1630m) winner Easifar (NZ) (Pride Of Dubai), a strong winner for Waller at Doomben, under their Llanhennock Trust banner. – NZ Racing Desk