Sydney-based jockey Brenton Avdulla has repaid his former master John Moloney with a successful hit-and-run raid on two-year-old debutante City Of Song at Sandown.
Avdulla, who is stable rider for Grahame Begg, turned his back on Wednesday’s Randwick meeting to ride the exciting filly who stormed home from third last to land the Race-Tech Hcp (1000m).
One of Sydney’s leading jockeys, Avdulla was apprenticed to Moloney for more than three years and formed a strong bond with owner Colin Beggs which led to his booking for City Of Song who was his only ride of the day.
“I had a couple of commitments in Sydney but I thought this was more important,” Avdulla said.
“Colin Beggs has always had horses with John and he was very good to me and it is good to repay them.”
City Of Song is by Bel Esprit, the sire of unbeaten mare Black Caviar, and the third foal from the former Moloney-trained Songs Of Vienna who won the Listed Straight Six at Flemington.
Moloney has given City Of Song only a light campaign but she showed she was ready for the races with a stunning last-to-first trial win at Cranbourne on February 7 .
“Brenton has been good to our stable and it was good to be able to put him on,” Moloney said.
Moloney also trains City Of Song’s dual city-winning sister Music In The Park.
“Music In The Park won a two-year-old race but (City Of Song) has shown a lot more than her at the same time,” Moloney said.
Avdulla said the filly got “a bit panicky” racing between horses but once he got her balanced and into clear running the result was never in doubt.
“She was very dominant but she is not a ready-made two-year-old,” Avdulla said.
“She has got no idea what is going on but whatever I asked her to do she did.”
City Of Song lost her action a couple of times turning for home but the $3.20 favourite was impressive scoring by 1-1/4 lengths from other first starters Pecuniary ($17) and Shadow West ($21.)
“I just wanted to get her to the outside because I always knew I was going to run over the top of them.” Avdulla said.
“She got there sooner than I wanted and I probably misjudged the straight a little bit as I haven’t been here for while.
“To her credit but she kept doing enough to hold them out and I am sure if there was a horse six lengths in front of her she would have picked it up.
“She is going to keep improving and is probably six months away but I can’t see any reason why she can’t get a mile (1600m)-plus.”
Avdulla went to Sydney 18 months ago with a three-kilo claim but outrode it five months ago.
He will ride Melito in Saturday’s Group One Chipping Norton Stakes and is booked for Ilovethiscity in the Group One Randwick Guineas the following week.