Racing: Win thrills Boom apprentice

Top New Zealand apprentice James McDonald is thrilled his first win at Flemington was in a Group race. 
Photo / NZ Herald
Top New Zealand apprentice James McDonald is thrilled his first win at Flemington was in a Group race. Photo / NZ Herald

Toowoomba sprinter Temple Of Boom has made his second successful raid at Flemington in nine months by taking out the Group Three Aurie's Star Handicap.

The 3-year-old posted his first 1200m win in 10 attempts at the distance in yesterday's sprint and provided a career highlight for champion New Zealand apprentice James McDonald.

McDonald, who competed in the three-race Asian Young Guns Challenge, admitted he got a bit lost at his first ride down the straight earlier in the day on Commanding Hope but later rated Temple Of Boom perfectly to score a three-quarter length win over the fast-finishing Rekindled Interest with Offenders a half-length away third.

"The straight is pretty tricky and I was found wanting the first time in the 1000-metre race but I sorted it out and came away with a win," McDonald said.

A five-time Group One winning rider, McDonald, 19, has ridden in New Zealand, Queensland, NSW, Singapore and Ireland but said it was special to win at Flemington.

"For my first win at Flemington to be down the straight and a Group Three race makes it an even bigger thrill," McDonald said.

Temple Of Boom has won eight of his 22 starts and is unbeaten at Flemington after winning the Listed Swisse Vitamins Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on Oaks day last year.

Trainer Tony Gollan said he was confident Temple Of Boom would run a strong a 1200 metres and, aided by McDonald's ride, the consistent sprinter finally broke through at the distance after five placings from his nine previous attempts.

"My only instruction to James was to just ride him to get the 1200 metres and he has found it quite well," Gollan said.

The win impressed McDonald. "He definitely got the 1200 today. There was no stopping him.

"He is just a beautiful ride. He dropped the bit in behind them and really cruised up and put them away pretty quickly."

Gollan hopes Temple Of Boom will spearhead a small spring team for the stable in Melbourne this spring.AAP

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