A rare Friday twilight meeting staged at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney kicked-off with an intriguing $50,000, Sky Racing Active 3YO Plate over 1800 metres in which the six-horse field included three representatives for Godolphin ridden by Nash Rawiller, James McDonald and Tommy Berry, two of which were untapped gelded sons of the emerging young stallion Contributor.
In the end, it was the Nash Rawiller partnered son of Contributor going by the name of Dhakuri (NZ) which won the day — and in the process stamping himself as a very bright staying prospect for the second half of the 2020/21 Classic racing season.
Ridden next to last by Rawiller in the early stages while Rachel King set a solid enough pace aboard Bella Violet, Dhakuri (NZ) traveled like a young horse relishing his first assignment beyond a mile.
Once asked for a winning effort in the straight when it appeared as if King had stolen a march on her rivals, Dhakuri (NZ) displayed a brilliant finishing burst which quickly carried him passed his two stable companions and alongside Bella Violet close to home, despite veering alarmingly towards the eventual runner-up and causing Rawiller to ride him out on just one rein.
Dhakuri (NZ) ultimately crossed the finishing line a Head in advance of Bella Violet, who in turn was judged to be three-and-a-quarter lengths in advance of minor placegetter La Sagra.
Speaking after the win, Rawiller described Dhakuri (NZ) as “a nice, promising horse with a great turn of foot”.
Rawiller added: “It probably won him the race the way he travelled throughout. He just never spent a cent and gave himself a real opportunity to attack the line.”
Dhakuri (NZ) recorded his maiden victory at the fourth time of asking, having also finished a close runner-up over 1600m at Wyong at his previous start.
A member of Contributor’s first 3-year-old crop to race, he hails from the same female family as Shame, a dual Group 1 winner for the Ingham brothers during a previous incarnation of the vast Darley breeding enterprise.
Dhakuri (NZ) was returned as the $3.00 favourite, Bella Violet at $8.00, and La Sagra at $4.00.
Winning time was 1m51.09s (last 600m in 34.80s).
An imported winner of the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes for Godolphin before taking up stallion duties at Mapperley Stud in New Zealand, Contributor has now been represented by five individual winners in Australia from just 13 starters.
Sky Racing Active Plate, photo finish picture ATC