Converge was able to deliver Tim Clark his 19th Group 1 victory, claiming the Randwick Guineas by a quarter of a length over Anamoe.
The son of Frankel was sent out as a $7 chance in the 1600m, and despite a betting drift, he proved too strong for the red-hot favourite Anamoe, while Hilal finished third.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained gelding delivered his trainers a 14th Group 1 since they have been in partnership, while it is a second Group 1 for Converge after he won the J.J. Atkins at Eagle Farm last June.
“I was very happy with the way the preparation has unfolded to date, knowing we were trying to get him to this race today to peak today and his next couple of runs,” Bott said.
“It’s the first real time we have seen him under the ideal conditions and it was great to see him able to respond in the manner we know he can.
“The way the race unfolded worked out perfectly for us. Tim was able to put him in a positive position early and the race unfolded around him. He got into a lovely spot and was able to work into it nicely.
“When Tim was looking around like that before he let down, I knew there was a bit more there and I’m glad he was able to showcase that for us.”
Tim Clark rode the three-year-old very confidently, having a big look over his shoulder at the 300m mark to see where Anamoe was, indicating that he had plenty of horse beneath him.
A 19th Group 1 win for @clarkyhk as he drives Converge to victory for @GaiWaterhouse1 & Adrian Bott in the Mostyn Copper Randwick Guineas. He held off Anamoe and they broke away from Hilal in third. @tabcomau pic.twitter.com/NH1ftTpCdh
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) March 5, 2022
“He travelled really well and travelled into it nicely,” the winning hoop said.
“I tried to hold him together and count a bit but when I let him go, he really extended quickly, sprinted well and just had to hold Anamoe off late. He is a courageous little horse and has been building up to a win like this all prep.
“I was waiting as long as I could and about then (300m) I had a look because I thought Anamoe would be coming at some point. I couldn’t actually see him, he obviously got close late but my horse is just so courageous, he is a little bulldog and I love him to bits.”
“I think the natural race is to go to the Rosehill Guineas and potentially we may look at coming back to the Doncaster, the way the three-year-olds get treated and he is so electric with that turn of foot,” he said.
Converge is now the $4.50 second favourite for the Rosehill Guineas, half a point behind Anamoe ($4).
HERE’S WHAT THE BEATEN JOCKEYS HAD TO SAY
- 2nd – James McDonald (Anamoe): “Super in defeat. Ran enormous.”
- 3rd – William Pike (Hilal): “He went very good. Don’t reckon he loved the ground.”
- 4th – Jason Collett (War Eternal): “Under heavy pressure into the straight. Got left a bit when they sprinted.”
- 5th – Tommy Berry (Military Expert): “Toughed it out well way up in grade from a midway. He showed he has got a bit of quality there which is good.”
- 6th – Sam Clipperton (Raging Bull): “Really nice horse on a Derby path.”
- 7th – Nash Rawiller (Coastwatch): “He travelled genuinely like he was a chance of winning the race. When I tried to get to my top he felt the ground.”
- 8th – Jay Ford (Sinba): “Travelled very well but failed to let down in the conditions.”
- 9th – Rachel King (Sea Treasures): “Really game effort. Just a bit outclassed.”
- 10th – Brenton Avdulla (Royalzel): “Not having a crack at all.”