Godolphin knew they had the Craven Plate won halfway up the straight, they just didn’t know with which horse.
With only Hauraki’s white cap breaking up the sea of royal blue, the ATC Australian Derby placegetter went stride-for-stride with stablemate Complacent in a stirring dual.
Complacent got the decision by a short half-head, showing the same fighting qualities that helped him return from a two-year injury lay-off to add the Group Three race to his Chelmsford Stakes victory.
The five-year-old tore a ligament after his second in the 2013 Victoria Derby and only a sustained team effort got him back to the races.
“He had nearly the same problem as Atlantic Jewel had,” said Godolphin’s Australian managing director Henry Plumptre.
“But he was a very good patient.
“It has been a huge team effort.”
Trainer John O’Shea confirmed both Complacent and Hauraki would head to Melbourne for the Caulfield Cup in two weeks.
He also revealed winning jockey James McDonald had wanted to ride Hauraki in the Craven Plate but was talked out of it by Godolphin racing manager Darren Beadman.
“We knew Hauraki was ready to fire today. He’s acquitted himself very well and he’s put himself back in the game in terms of the Caulfield Cup,” O’Shea said.
“They’ll go to Melbourne in a fortnight and hopefully they’ll both run well.”
O’Shea’s pair cleared out from the rest of the field with I’m Imposing leading home the chasers, more than three lengths behind the runner-up.