Orchestral hits the right note to claim Vinery Stud Stakes

Orchestral arrived in time to claim the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes. Photo: RacingNSW

The journey across the Tasman has paid immediate dividends for the Roger James & Robert Wellwood barn, with New Zealand raider Orchestral (-166.67) justifying the short quote in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

James McDonald partnered the daughter of Savabeel three starts back at Ellerslie in the Listed Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) on January 27, and always suggested a trip to Australia would be ideal for the three-year-old filly.

The race panned out perfect for McDonald gaining the one-one throughout the journey, parking in behind a moderate speed throughout.

Zardozi (+320) was able to slide in behind her, while the Gary Portelli-trained Kimochi (+850) was allowed to stride forward under Rachel King.

The race shifted gear at the 1000m marker as Nash Rawiller pulled out a three-wide line aboard Tutta La Vitta (+1000), playing a game of ‘catch me if you can’ aboard the Chris Waller-trained filly.

Rawiller pinched a three-length break on his rivals, forcing McDonald’s mount to knuckle down to the task, proving too strong at the wire.

Orchestral has now claimed back-to-back Group 1 victories after taking on the boys in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on March 2, and will now press on towards the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 13.

2024 Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes Replay – Orchestral

Co-trainer Robert Wellwood spoke on behalf of the stable and there was a sense of relief getting the result, before confirming the team are undecided on where to head next.
“My heart rate is still coming down,” said Wellwood.

“It was a bit of a freight there. As you say, she (Tutta La Vita) took off and got a real break on us. She had to fight really hard to win but class prevailed.

“We’re going to trot her up tomorrow, talk to the connections and make a decision after that. It was a great effort coming back from a Derby to now win a 2000-metre race here.
She’s a Group 1 winner on both sides of the Tasman now, so it’s very thrilling for some really good owners. It’s amazing to win the race two years in a row.”

James McDonald was delighted with the win and was always confident in the engine he had underneath him when asking Orchestral for the ultimate effort.

“She had to have all the quality,” said McDonald.

“She was out on her feet, like good ones do, she’s just very good. It’s a weird feeling riding her because the first time I ever sat on her, I was, ‘right, good filly’ ride the winner and forget about the next one. But when I hopped off her I thought, there’s something damned, damned good about this thing.

“And I haven’t had this much confidence going into a race since I was riding Anamoe when I knew he was just unbeatable. I thought she was unbeatable today. I thought she would win a little bit easier but she was a little bit ring rusty.”

“She took the last bend a little bit awkwardly. Fast ground, she had to really dig deep and it wasn’t to our liking, and the slowly run race wasn’t really to our liking. Stepping up in trip is just going to be perfect for her.”

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