Three year old Holler bounced back into the winner’s stall when he led all of the way to beat the older horses in the 2016 Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick today.
The John O’Shea trained Holler produced a similar win two starts back in the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 23 but then disappointed when fifth as favourite in the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13.
O’Shea said that Damien Oliver, who rode Holler in the Autumn Stakes, suggested that he put the blinkers on the Commands colt, and he responded in the best possible way with a brilliant front running display.
“Damien Oliver recommended we do that after Caulfield where he just got a bit wobbly around the bend,” O’Shea said.
Winning jockey James McDonald had Holler quickly out of the barriers and dictated the tempo of the race even though Tommy Berry on Our Boy Malachi put some pressure on mid race.
But McDonald was able to nurse Holler ($7.50) up the rise and before letting him stride clear to record a very convincing one and a quarter lengths win over $2.70 favourite First Seal with the Chris Waller trained Kermadec ($5) running on for third.
“It was a wonderful team effort and a great plan that has come off,” O’Shea said.
“He won the Australia Stakes and we brought him home to Osbourne and he just thrived the last three weeks and another great James McDonald ride.”
“James had given every indication that he was going to try control it.”
“We knew we had a fit race horse and it is nice when a plan comes off like that.”
O’Shea is now likely to be sent back to Melbourne to run in the Group 1 $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 24.
“I think we will send him back to Melbourne, he loves the Valley, and we will go back there for the William Reid and see if he can continue on his way,” O’Shea said.
The win by Holler was a welcomed change of luck for the Godolphin – O’Shea team after they had to scratch two year old Astern from the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes (1200m) after he had an elevated white blood cell count and then their filly Calliope was scratched at the barriers before the running of the Group 2 $300,000 Reisling Stakes (1200m).
The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Criterion ($8) was always well back in the field and after trying to make some ground in the straight, faded to finish last of the seven runners.
2016 Canterbury Stakes Results
|1||7||HOLLER||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||7||56kg||$7.50|
|2||6||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||1.3L||3||57kg||$2.70F|
|3||2||KERMADEC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||1.6L||1||59kg||$5|
|4||5||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Brenton Avdulla||2.4L||2||59kg||$21|
|5||3||OUR BOY MALACHI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||2.9L||6||59kg||$4.20|
|6||4||ECUADOR (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||3.6L||4||59kg||$31|
|7||1||CRITERION (NZ)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Kerrin McEvoy||5.5L||5||59kg||$8|