Queensland apprentice jockey Matthew McGillivray has secured his first Sydney city win aboard Star Shaft.
The Tim Macintosh-trained gelding, the $3.80 favourite, won the Highway Handicap (1200m) by a length at Rosehill on Saturday.
“It’s my first winner in Sydney – a big thrill,” said McGillivray, who is on loan to Sydney trainer John Sargent.
Star Shaft settled in the second half of the field before McGillivray found a gap at the 300m, unleashing the four-year-old’s strong sprint.
“The pace was beautiful,” McGillivray said.
“All he had to do was find a gap and the job’s done.”
Star Shaft was hard work in the straight for McGillivray as the horse shifted out and bumped runner-up Somebody, leading stewards to reprimand McGillivray for his ride.
“I think he wanted to attack the other horse,” McGillivray said.
Sargent said McGillivray had ridden a lot of winners in his home state and was able to take advantage of his 2kg claim in Sydney.
“It’s really good for him and should give him a bit of a kick along, Sargent said.
Muswellbrook-based Macintosh said Star Shaft, who carried 58.5kg after McGillivray’s claim, had to get back in his races to be effective at the finish.
“If he sees daylight he gets over-racing badly,” Macintosh said.
“He just had to carry the weight and he did. It’s a good feeling.”
Star Shaft gave Macintosh his first city winner in December when he won an 1100m Highway Handicap at Randwick.