Luck of Irish as Mister Sea Wolf takes The Gong

Irish Queenslander Noel Greenhalgh has won his share of group 1s in his lime silks with the dark green shamrock, but Mister Sea Wolf’s victory in the inaugural $1 million The Gong was something special.

It had a lot to do with where the horse had come from.

“We had been looking for an Irish horse for a long time and this bloke was the first one we bought,” Greenhalgh said. “Guy [Mulcaster] found him, and to get over here was great and he has been a gem of a horse for us.

“He tries so hard every time, and for him to win that race is probably as good as a group 1 for me.”

Greenhalgh had one regret about Mister Sea Wolf, which surprisingly got out to $21 by jump time.

“I took a lot of $8 on Thursday and wasn’t smart enough to take the 20s today,” he said. “It doesn’t matter, this is just great.”

The Chris Waller-trained eight-year-old made it 11 wins as as he got the better of Quackerjack ($6.50), which was brave after sitting three-wide outside the lead, to win by head with stablemate Star Of The Seas ($7) a neck back in third. They broke the 10-year-old track record for the Kembla 1600m.

The win gave James McDonald the double in Racing NSW’s new $1 million races after his win on Savatiano in The Hunter last week.

“It’s great to win the first running of The Gong. The atmosphere is incredible,” McDonald said.

“Like I said last week after winning The Hunter, the spring just keeps rolling on. It is fantastic

“He’s my old favourite. We’ve had a good association

“I thought he was going to be up against it with 59kg and a firm track.” – Chris Roots, The Age.

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