Extending his unbeaten run this campaign to four, Despatch continued his rise through the ranks and provided his accomplished local jockey Todd Pannell with his first Group One success.
Out of the barriers swiftly, Despatch pounced on the lead early and stayed there throughout, skipping clear shortly after turning for home and then holding out the late charge from fellow Magic Millions purchase Behemoth to win by a half neck.
The win was the third straight at black type level for Despatch following a win in the listed Oakbank Stakes and then Group Two DC McKay Stakes.
Trainer Tony McEvoy said Despatch held an entry for the Stradbroke Handicap but thought the spelling paddock was a more likely option now.
“What a courageous horse,” McEvoy said. “He led today, that wasn’t really our plan.”
“I told Todd to ride him where he was comfortable and the horse took it up. What a fantastic performance.”
“Gee this horse has come a long way. He’s a real bright sprinter.”
McEvoy praised his staff including foreman John Cornell and son Calvin for the hard work they’d put in helping Despatch overcome barrier issues.
For popular local jockey Todd Pannell the win was a triumph – his first at racing’s elite level and no one would be wiping the smile off his face.
“I would like to thank Tony McEvoy and the owners for giving me this opportunity,” Pannell said. “He (McEvoy) gave me a ride in the Derby last week and he’s backed it up again with another good ride in this race.”
“He jumped so well and he got into his stride straight away and I thought after a furlong – I will take it up from here and he strode along and got a bit of a cheap run there mid race and had a good kick near the finish.”
“He’s a pretty tough horse and he’s done a big job this prep,” Pannell added.
Runner-up Behemoth put in a huge performance, charging late in the colours of Grand Syndicates after a luckless run under Anthony Darmanin.
“It was a huge run,” Darmanin said of the $6,000 National Yearling Sale buy from Riversdale. “He should have won.”
Despatch, a son of Written Tycoon bred by Paul Dillon, was originally sold for $40,000 through the Woodside Park Stud draft at the 2015 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.
It was at the Gold Coast where he caught the eye of Baramul Stud manager Paul Thompson and his wife Amanda and their $40,000 buy was a clever one indeed. He was then prepared by the Baramul Stud team and sold for $195,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale to McEvoy Mitchell Racing.
Despatch is one of three winners produced by the Sydney winning Fasliyev mare Zoccoletta – a half sister to the dam of Tahanee – a group winner in Argentina who was imported to Australia and was a Flemington winner and runner-up in a Group Two Queen of the South Stakes.
Tahanee will go under the hammer at the upcoming Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. She heads to the sale after a September cover by Pride of Dubai and will be presented in the draft of Segenhoe Stud Australia. She is a member of a quality supplementary catalogue and is Lot 1935.
Breeding: Written Tycoon-Zoccoletta (Fasliyev)
Race: SAJC The Goodwood G1 (1200m)
Sold for: $40,000
Sale: 2015 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale
Vendor: Woodside Park Stud
Buyer: Paul and Amanda Thompson
Sold for: $195,000
Sale: 2016 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale
Vendor: Baramul Stud
Buyer: McEvoy Mitchell Racing
Owner(s): Pipeliner Bloodstock Pty Ltd (Mgr: WG Mitchell), Wilrace Pty Ltd (Mgr: D Wilson) & G Fischer
Trainer: Tony McEvoy (Angaston)