Kolding made the most of a perfect run to give Chris Waller another George Main Stakes and lead home a first four for the premier stable at Randwick on Saturday.
It was Waller’s seventh win in the weight-for-age group 1 over the Randwick mile. Kolding broke the race record of Waller’s champion mare, Winx, but the trainer had to feel unlucky with a couple behind him.
While Kolding was in clear running outside the leader, the John Thompson-trained Dreamforce, runner-up Star Of The Seas found a traffic jam in the straight before getting clear, and favourite Verry Elleegant was back to her hard-going style and could only manage fourth.
Tommy Berry won the group 1 by being positive from the gates in the seven-horse field and putting Kolding in a controlling position, from which he simply refused to be beaten.
Kolding ($9.50) had a long neck to spare from the unlucky Star Of The Seas ($12), with Imaging ($9.50) a long head away in third. Verry Elleegant ($2.15) was another length back in fourth.
“He’s usually better ridden with a bit of cover, but we found a race today where it was only going to end up one way and that was him being outside Dreamforce,” Berry said.
“He switched off really well for me and that gave him the chance to finish strongly at the end.
“It’s just a great training effort and a great tough effort by the horse. It felt like a mile would see him out. We had a pretty cruisy run there and, on the line, he was out of carrots. I’d say 1400-1500m is bang on for him.”
Waller won the Epsom and Golden Eagle with Kolding, whose career turned around after he was gelded last year. He went to Melbourne in the autumn where he did not handle racing in the other direction, but it was a return to his best on Saturday.
“In my mind he never left. Things haven’t gone his way,” Waller said. “You can’t win these races if you aren’t right and we haven’t panicked.
“He just needed some fine-tuning. That has been the main thing our team sticks to. We stick to plans, trying to let things unfold. The four of them went well.”
Although the trophy goes to the winner, Star Of The Seas probably should have won after getting on heels halfway down the straight and giving up a couple of lengths before launching late to just miss.
“What can I say about him. He’s a star. Just a bit stiff today,” jockey Sam Clipperton said after Star Of The Seas’ third group 1 second in four starts.
Kolding, Star Of The Seas and Imaging will head to the Epsom in a fortnight, but Verry Elleegant will go to Melbourne.
She didn’t appreciate being inside horses and locked away back in the field and consequently ran her race before turn and didn’t have a sprint to wind in the leaders.
“She can do that when she loses her action and has to rush. I think she is probably best with a bit of freedom to get rolling and let loose to do her thing,” Waller said.
“I’d say it will be the Turnbull next for her.”
The disappointments of the race were Avilius, which didn’t let down on the firm track, and Dreamforce, which faded after having an easy lead.