Suncraze has taken an encouraging step towards the Country Championships with a first-up Randwick win.
Suncraze, the $5 second elect for the Country Championships final at Randwick in April, extended his consistent record with a fourth win from 11 starts in the Mostyn Cooper Group Handicap.
The four-year-old, who has never placed worse than second, shaded No Interest ($17) by a short half-head.
Star Of Monsoon ($6) was a long head back in third.
Suncraze ($4) is now targeting the Country Championships qualifier in Scone on March 18 with Tamworth-based trainer Melanie O’Gorman indicating he may tune up for that assignment in the Group Three Liverpool City Cup on March 3.
“We always felt he was immature as baby so it’s nice to see him come back bigger and stronger,” she said.
Suncraze’s cause was aided by the late scratching of Godolphin’s $3.20 favourite Osborne Bulls who failed a vet inspection after lunging in his barrier stall.
Suncraze rounded off a successful meeting for Tim Clark, who rode four winners on his daughter Ellie’s eighth birthday.
“It’s a special day. I had some nice chances,” he said.
“Corey (Brown) rides him, he’s suspended so it was just one of those things.
Clark also saluted on Santos, Quick Defence and Faraway Town.