By Brad Gray
At Royal Randwick
Luck of the Irish they say. Well Irish hoop Declan McDonogh has made his own in his Australian stint and was rewarded for his graft with his first Sydney metro city win, on Positive Problems.
Positive Problems just holding off Medaille
In a twist of fate, McDonogh and Bjorn Baker, who trains the mare, go back 10 years when a mutual friend and fellow Irish jockey Fran Berry, showed Baker a few of the Irish tracks.
Furthermore, Hugh Bowman, who McDonogh beat by the narrowest margin in the race, was instrumental bringing the Irishman to Australia.
McDonogh was quick to pay gratitude to the amount of support he has received from trainers but it’s a credit to him how quickly he has adjusted to the Australian style of riding.
“It took me a few weeks but if the horse is good enough, you’ll adjust,” McDonogh said, before citing the major differences.
“Getting a position early and not trying to be wide. Horses jump quickly out of the stalls, even the young horses, they are more tuned on too. Then you have to rate them because they can’t really sustain a long run.
“(Positive Problems) is probably the exception because she has a bit of toughness about her. I went what I call a good European gallop. Dragged them out and when it went silent turning in I thought I had half a chance because I still had a little bit of horse. She is all heart and didn’t want to be denied.”
McDonogh leaves Australian in mid-February but said he is keen to return.
“I thought it was the ride of the century!” - Jack Bruce from @BBakerRacing.
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) January 6, 2018