The powerful Godolphin stable tested the water with a summer runner in Brisbane and came up a winner when Old North scored his first victory in nearly two years on Saturday.
Old North ($6.50) was suited by a breakneck early speed before coming away to beat the favourite I’m A Rippa ($4.40) by 1-1/2 lengths in the Makers Mark Handicap (1350m).
She’s Miss Devine ($9) was a length back in third place
It was Old North’s first win since claiming the Group Two Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 26, 2016.
He had previously raced in Queensland when fourth in the Group Two Hollindale Stakes in May that year.
Godolphin rarely has runners in Queensland away from the winter carnival but have entered horses in the past three weeks.
Farolitos ran sixth in the Sunshine Coast Cup for Godolphin two weeks ago but Old North was their first winner.
Old North had not started since running fifth at Warwick Farm in July but Godolphin head trainer James Cummings gave him two barrier trials in the lead up to Saturday’s race.
The win gave Godolphin two wins within the space of 10 minutes after Kementari won earlier at Warwick Farm before Hartnell claimed the Group One C F Orr Stakes at Caulfield.
Jockey Damian Browne continued a long association with Godolphin to steer Old North home.
“Basically they rang up and asked me to ride him. You don’t often get a chance to ride for them in the off-season so I jumped at the chance,” Browne said.
He said the race had worked out perfectly for him when I’m A Rippa and Devine Service went through the first 900m sectional in sub 44 seconds.
“They just went far too hard up front. It was made for a backmarker and I just had to steer a clear path,” Browne said.
“He is a lovely big horse and he will be improved by that run.”
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