Glen Boss has never had to sweat on a feature-race ride like he did before this year’s Doncaster Mile, but Kermadec made it worth it when he carried the jockey to yet another win in the Randwick feature.
The Melbourne-based jockey won the $3 million race for the sixth time when he partnered the Chris Waller-trained colt to a brilliant victory.
Kermadec required two scratchings to gain a start after being left as the second emergency when the final field was declared on Tuesday and while he scraped into the field on Saturday morning, he was back on the outer when Saturday’s races were abandoned due to wet weather.
Saturday morning’s scratchings were reinstated into the field for the race, which was rescheduled to Monday.
Fortunately for Boss and Waller, Moriarty and It’s Somewhat were again scratched on Monday morning which paved the way for Kermadec to take his place.
He responded with a decisive win over Japanese galloper Real Impact with another Waller runner, Royal Descent third.
An emotional Boss described the win as the most significant of his Doncaster victories.
“I’m really lost for words right now,” Boss said. “This one is probably the most special one.”
Boss scored his first Doncaster win since 2008 – when he provided Waller with the first of his five wins in the race with victory aboard Triple Honour – with his win aboard Kermadec.
He has won on three-year-olds on two other occasions – Racing To Win (2006) and Haradasun (2007) – having earlier scored Doncaster wins aboard Sprint By (1996) and Private Steer (2004).
Kermadec’s win was Waller’s fifth win in the past seven years, the champion trainer having also scored with Rangirangdoo (2010) and Sacred Falls the past two years.
Kermadec atoned for luckless efforts at several of his other starts this campaign – including a fourth placing in the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington – when he made the most of an economical Boss ride to power away from his rivals late.
The $8 chance scored by 1-3/4 lengths from Real Impact ($10), who surged to the front early in the straight with Royal Descent ($8), the 2014 runner-up, a half-neck back third.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet, who was well backed to start $7 favourite, finished fifth, beaten just under three lengths.
“From the time I got on his back in the enclosure I felt very confident,” Boss said. “He just came out here with a bit of a swagger about him.
“It’s amazing that he doesn’t have a better record than he has because he just gave me an amazing feel there when he let go.
“For a colt he is very brave. I was galloping where there was no room, we were pushing through gaps, but he was brave enough to do it for me.
“That was a soft victory. He’s a very, very good colt.”
Corey Brown, who rode Victorian mare Suavito (seventh), reported that the four-year-old was not comfortable on the heavy track, while Plucky Belle’s rider Kathy O’Hara could offer no explanation for the Peter Moody-trained mare’s 17th placing.
Kermadec’s win completed a winning double for Boss, who also won the $200,000 Group 3 P.J. Bell Stakes (1200m) aboard Miss Cover Girl for Kelly Schweida.