On Saturday at Moonee Valley up and coming stayer Duke of Hastings staked a claim to involve himself in some nice races throughout the Spring with a big metropolitan win.
The plan was to jump and settle in the first half of the field, however that didn’t work out and we were forced to snag back third last on the fence. The Corstens-trained Magnaspin took up the speed and set a very strong gallop at his first try at the trip. The Duke was able to switch off and take a cosy run along the fence. At the 600m mark Harry Coffey asked him for an effort and the big Sacred Falls gelding started to wind up and take ground off the leaders. In the blink of an eye, the field fanned and heavens opened and Harry found himself in front at the 300m mark with the head full of steam. The Duke gave a strong kick, clearing away with the Maher horse the only challenger. With the 7.5kg start on his rival, the Duke was too strong in the final stages, running out a winner by 1.25L.
Full credit must go to the whole team for this win, from Simon’s patience and timing getting the horse to peak on the day over the 2500m to Harry’s masterful ride and everyone in between. This opens up some options for the Duke in the Spring, with a potential trip to Sydney on the cards in the coming weeks.