Inglis Classic 2016: Quick thinking secures McDonald

Sam Pritchard-Gordon has already been rewarded for his foresight in setting promising filly Soviet Secret for the Inglis Classic.

Pritchard-Gordon went straight to the top when trying to engage a jockey for Soviet Secret and James McDonald will ride the filly in the $250,000 race at Randwick on Saturday.

The young trainer may not have been so fortunate in securing McDonald’s services had he waited until after the nomination deadline to approach the rider’s booking agent.

McDonald joined a growing fan club getting behind unraced two-year-old Wonderful Story after he rode the colt to an impressive barrier trial win on Monday.

Wonderful Story had a lot in reserve in winning over 900m on a rain-affected track and he will be among trainer Chris Waller’s Randwick acceptors, although a rider hasn’t been confirmed.

Pritchard-Gordon moved quickly to get McDonald with the Classic being a sales-restricted race.

“I was thinking that Godolphin wouldn’t have a runner so that’s when I made contact with James’ agent,” Pritchard-Gordon said.

“Although he was very keen on a horse (Wonderful Story) he trialled yesterday for Chris Waller … he’s on my horse.”

Soviet Secret earned black type at her first start when she finished second in the Merson Cooper Stakes at Sandown in November.

“She was sharp, she was professional, it was everything you look for in a two-year-old,” Pritchard-Gordon said.

“Once she showed ability the Inglis Classic was always on the radar.”

The merit of her Merson Cooper run has since been confirmed in the lead-up to the Blue Diamond Stakes with third placegetter Emphatically resuming with a runner-up finish in a Preview last week.

Soviet Secret sat wide in a Randwick barrier trial last Friday and wasn’t fully extended in finishing second in the fastest of six 1050m heats.


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