Kushadasi pulled out a last-gasp victory over Scratchy Bottom in a thrilling finish to the South Australian Derby (Aus-I) May 3 at Morphettville.
Order of the Sun grabbed the lead out of the gate and attempted to make all the running as Victorian filly Scratchy Bottom saved ground along the rail, with Kushadasi tracking behind her in midfield. Order of the Sun opened a long lead that was gradually diminished as the field swept around the home turn.
He gave way in the straight, and Scratchy Bottom took over with a rail-skimming ride from jockey Dom Tourneur as Steven Arnold brought Kushadasi with a furious rally down the center of the track. The two horses reached the finish line in unison, locked together in the closest of photo finishes, with little more than a thick lip separating them. After a few tense moments to wait out the result of the thrilling finish, Kushadasi was deemed the winner by a nose.
Kushadasi covered 2,500 meters (about 1 9/16 miles) in 2:41.98 on a track rated as slow, giving former jockey Richard Jolly his group I triumph as a trainer.
A Choisir gelding out of stakes-placed Shanghai Moon, by Carnegie, Kushadasi is one of only a handful of South Australian-trained horses to win at the group I level on home turf in the last 15 years. He was bred in Australia by Vintage Bloodstock and is campaigned by a partnership.
Scratchy Bottom, third in the Schweppes Oaks (Aus-I) April 26 at Morphettville, outfinished third-place finisher Best Case by a half-length. Gamblin' Guru was fourth, just three-quarters of length behind the winner.
Second in the Adelaide Guineas April 12 at Morphettville before a fourth-place finish in the Chairmans Stakes there April 26, Kushadasi earned his first stakes victory and improved his overall record to 5-3-0 from 10 starts. Jolly bought Kushadasi out of the Cornerstone Stud consignment for $100,000 ($106,950 in United States funds) at the Inglis Melbourne premier yearling sale. He is the seventh group I winner for Coolmore shuttler Choisir