Golden Eagle 2020: Colette storms home to win a thriller at Rosehill Gardens

The Godolphin team stared at the screen, waiting for the numbers. When 13 appeared, trainer James Cummings and Darren Beadman jumped for joy and let out the loudest cheer.

Make no mistake, this race means something. This was a special win.

Colette did what had seemed almost impossible on the turn – she came from near last to get up right on the line to the $7.5 million Iron Jack Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

It was a training masterstroke by Cummings. Colette had outstayed her rivals to win the ATC Australian Oaks over 2400nm in the autumn but just a few months later she had the speed and acceleration to win Sydney’s second richest race.

Colette stormed home to win the Golden Eagle at Rosehill Gardens. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“I tell you what, Dominic Beirne has been tipping it was going to be a wet track for three months and to keep this race in mind for Colette – he is a genius,’’ Cummings said.

“We had a plan for this spring carnival, we just wanted to keep the speed in her legs and not give her a taxing spring.

“I thought she could win the Sydney Cup in the autumn but who knows, after that race she could win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.’’

Colette, ridden by Koby Jennings, was near last into the straight before finishing powerfully wide out to catch Icebath near the line.

Colette takes out the 2020 #GoldenEagle! What a result from @KobyJennings for @godolphin 👏😀 pic.twitter.com/PGZRsT7yIe

Colette scored her fifth win from 11 starts, taking her prizemoney to nearly $4.7 million.

Cummings said he felt Colette was a winning chance after her last start sixth in the Epsom Handicap – and the forecast for a heavy track for the Golden Eagle as the mare is unbeaten in rain-affected going.

“She is a super mare. What a wonderful performance from her,’’ Cummings said.

“She freshened up beautifully since the Epsom Handicap where she was only beaten two lengths on a dry track.

“We spoke to the boys on Monday and credit to them they gave me the green light to go ahead and run them over a distance.

“Anyone with a pencil in their hand can work out it was too short for . She ended up finding a way on the heavy track. We got the solidly run race we hoped for. She has rewritten history as not just a dour stayer, but a mare good enough to win the Golden Eagle.’’

Cummings said Colette had completed the “Golden Grand Slam” from the same crop for Godolphin.

James Cummings and jockey Koby Jennings get their hands on the Golden Eagle trophy. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

It began with Tassort’s win in the 2018 Golden Gift then later that season, juvenile stablemate Kiamichi won the 2019 Golden Slipper.

Brilliant colt Bivouac won the 2019 Golden Rose for three-year-olds and Colette completed the clean sweep in the Golden Eagle.

Collette is by Hallowed Crown, who gave the trainer his first Group 1 winner in the 2014 Golden Rose when he was training in partnership with his late grandfather, the legendary Bart Cummings.

“I tell you something this farm (Darley) has the most amazing record,’’ Cummings said.

“This crop of horses that were reared there have now won the Golden Gift, the Golden Slipper, the Golden Rose and now the grand slam of the Golden Eagle.

“This doesn’t just happen, you have got to remember it all starts somewhere. They don’t come out of nowhere.

“We get the kudos on raceday but the guys on the farm rear these amazing horses and now they have won these great races.’’

Originally published asColette completes ‘Golden grand slam’ for Cummings

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