Colette soars high in $7.5m Golden Eagle

·1-min read

An unfashionable jockey has teamed up with a global powerhouse of racing as Colette produced a withering finish to win the $7.5 million Golden Eagle.

Koby Jennings, who spends most of his time riding on Sydney's provincial tracks, made the most of a booking from Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin stable to land one of the biggest purses in Australian racing.

An exceptional horse in wet ground, Colette ($10) came from the second half of the field to beat Icebath ($6) in a photo finish.

Dawn Passage ($21) took the minor placing.

Godolphin trainer James Cummings revealed he wanted a cool hand to ride Colette, one of three runners for the stable, and Jennings was a perfect fit.

Colette was one of the best staying three-year-old fillies of her generation last season, winning the ATC Australian Oaks in similar conditions to those on offer at Rosehill.

She was an early favourite to win the Caulfield Cup but Cummings has kept the mare to shorter distances to target the Golden Eagle, a race exclusively for four-year-olds.

"What a wonderful performance from her to be kept fresh," Cummings said.

"We had a plan for this spring carnival that we wanted to keep the speed in her legs."

Cummings said Godolphin's hierarchy had supported him all the way to run Colette in what on paper looked an unsuitable race.

"They gave me the green light to run her over a distance that anyone with a pencil in their hand would know was too short for her," he said.

"But they've backed me and she's ended up finding a way on a wet track that we had hoped for."