Skyman gave trainer Chris Waller his fifth Rowley Mile after edging out stablemate Oscar Zulu to win the Listed $185,000 race over the Hawkesbury 1600m course on Thursday.
The exciting finish produced a classic duel between champion jockeys James McDonald on Skyman and Hugh Bowman aboard Oscar Zulu with only a half-neck separating the duo.
McDonald described Skyman as the “ultimate professional” after the gelding held off a determined Oscar Zulu.
“Skyman was beautifully prepared and with two (barrier) trials under his belt he had good ‘ping’ in his legs,’’ McDonald said.
“He showed that good turn of foot he possesses at the furlong (200m). This is his sort of level but there are plenty of races around for him.’’
Skyman was confidently backed into $3.90 and held off Oscar Zulu ($8.50) with early leader Cross Talk ($1.80 favourite) a length away third.
Cross Talk set a solid pace in front and tried to take control of the race on the turn but he could not withstand the strong finishing bursts of Skyman and Oscar Zulu.
Waller has dominated the Rowley Mile since the race’s inception in 2010 with Skyman his fifth winner after Savacool (2020), Mister Sea Wolf (2018), McCreery (2016) and Snow Alert (2010).
The trainer’s stable representative Jack Pilkington described the Rowley Mile thriller as “great racing”.
“James kept it pretty simple sat in a perfect position on Skyman, stalking then coming off heels but he probably thought ‘what is Oscar doing here running me so close’,’’ Pilkington said.
“But it was a good win by Skyman and I would say he will keep going through these nice handicaps. He’s picking up good prizemoney.’’
Earlier on the program, Godolphin’s superbly bred filly Sumatra – by champion racehorse and sire Lonhro out of Blue Diamond winner Earthquake – broke her maiden with a strong win at her fifth career start.
Originally published as Skyman wins Rowley Mile in Chris Waller quinella at Hawkesbury