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Hauraki capped a memorable day for James McDonald and Godolphin when he confirmed his spot in next week’s ATC Australian Derby with an explosive run in the Tulloch Stakes at Rosehill.

His win came 40 minutes after Hartnell carried the royal blue silks to a Group One BMW victory over Japanese star To The World and followed the earlier wins of stablemates Medcaut and Generalife in support races.

All four Godolphin winners were ridden by McDonald, who also took out the Group Two Emancipation Stakes aboard Catkins for Chris Waller.

It’s the first time McDonald has ridden five winners at a Sydney metropolitan meeting.

“It’s pretty amazing. I’m really happy and it’s good to get all of them for big stables,” McDonald said.

Sheikh Mohammed’s head trainer John O’Shea was unsurprised by the jockey’s achievement.

“He has been a very special young man in our life and he deserves all the accolades and results he gets,” O’Shea said.

“He conducts himself with humility. He is a hard worker and an amazing young talent.

“It has been a big day for the team.”

Content to let $5 favourite Hauraki find his feet early, McDonald began to pinch runs towards the inside rounding the home turn before bursting to the front inside the final 200m.

The winner had 2-1/2 lengths to spare over Omeros ($6.50), with Victorian Merion ($6.50) third.

O’Shea confirmed Hauraki would back up into the Derby and was happy the horse had been able to get back on track after a disappointing start to his campaign in Melbourne.

“We were probably a bit greedy and we tried to win the Australian Guineas along the way,” O’Shea said.

“He’s got a great turn of foot and the capacity to stay.”

The result wasn’t as happy for stablemate Gouldian, which travelled wide and without cover in the Tulloch Stakes before tiring to finish with the tailenders.

Gouldian won’t press on to the Derby.

John Sargent, trainer of Omeros, said he would see how his horse came through the race before deciding whether to back him up in the classic.

 
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