Declan McDonogh (left) rides Positive Problems to win the Youth Insearch Inspire Mile at Randwick.
Declan McDonogh replicated tactics familiar back home as front runner Positive Problems withstood a late challenge to produce the Irishman’s first metropolitan win at Randwick.
McDonogh finally claimed a Saturday city winner at the 11th attempt as Positive Problems held on by a nose to deny Medaille and Hugh Bowman, who convinced the 37-year-old to finally test himself in Australia.
“I went at what I call a good European gallop, I went a good pace all the way and dragged them out,” McDonogh said.
Positive Problems ($5.50) set the tempo from the barriers and crucially led the Youth Insearch Inspire Mile (1600m) by six lengths at the 600.
“When it went silent turning in (the straight) I thought I’ve a chance because I still had a little bit of horse,” McDonogh said.
Medaille ($5.50) issued the first challenge before $26 outsider Gamblestown surged late to take third a short half-neck further back.
McDonogh, who started his stint at Gosford in early December, was rapt to win at Randwick for trainer Bjorn Baker, who he first met 12 years ago.
“Bjorn came over when he was younger for a look at Irish racing and we took him to a few tracks,” McDonogh said.
It was the third time McDonogh had ridden Positive Problems and he was confident she would prevail in the photo.
“She’s all heart. She tried really strongly for me. She didn’t want to be denied,” he said.
Baker’s stable representative Jack Bruce said McDonogh paced his ride to perfection.
“It was the ride of the century. She’s a fit horse and that’s the way to ride her. Once she got the break, that was the big thing,” he said.
McDonogh lifted his win tally to eight from 52 rides and hoped for more metropolitan success before he returns to Ireland next month.