Duke Of Hastings salutes at Moonee Valley

Harry Coffey guides Duke Of Hastings to victory at The Valley. Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Jockey Harry Coffey made a compelling case for three Scobie Breasley Medal votes with a shrewd ride on Duke Of Hastings at Moonee Valley.

The five-year-old, sired by Sacred Falls, surged from worse than midfield, going around only one horse for a comfortable victory. United Nations pursued in second, while Magnaspin finished third as the pacesetter.

“I was just saying to Mr Montgomery (chief steward) that I would have thought that would be three Scobies the way that ride panned out,” Coffey quipped.

“We had a lovely run, did no work and the horse was too good, so there was a bit of banter with the Chief Steward to let him know to look at the lighter side of life.”

Coffey said Simon Zahra’s Duke Of Hastings had been building to a winning performance and he got the race run to suit.

“They went along at a nice gallop and he is a big strong horse who has got really nice staying potential, so that was one thing that aided him, but also it has just taken him a little while to get warm this prep,” Coffey said.

“Last run it looked like he might have been working towards a win and that was definitely the case. We went up 500m in distance and got the job done, so really well done by the stable.

“Sometimes horses that are staying three-year-olds do battle to come back and find form and it looked like for a while that would be the case with this horse, but I think now that he has had today’s win he will really get a lot of confidence and it is a nice time of year for a stayer to be around.

“They were rolling along and there were two of the better front-running riders out in front in Craig Williams and Jordan Childs so even though it was a strong gallop, you know they are going to get their fractions right at some stage.

“In the middle stages we were able to join back in and then everyone left the fence and left a beautiful passage for me to come through, so I couldn’t have asked for a smoother run in transit and that is why he won so well.”

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