Dalasan winning from Dubious at Flemington (Image: Racing Photos)
Dalasan provided Raquel Clark with her first Group winner when claiming last month's Group 3 Spring Stakes at Morphettville and the rewards were greater at Flemington on Saturday.
Despite eagerness from fellow Group 1-winning riders to replace Clark aboard Dalasan in the G2 Danehill Stakes (1200m), trainers Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas gave the 26-year-old jockey her first experience at Group level in Melbourne.
Clark repaid their faith with a composed ride when her mount required it most.
Dalasan ($2.60 favourite) was wayward up the Flemington straight the first time but an unflustered Clark ensured her mount lengthened out stylishly over the final 100 metres to score by three-quarters of a length.
Dubious ($9.50) attempted to lead throughout and stayed on gamely under John Allen for second, with Express Pass ($6) settling last in the 10-horse field and improving into third at the finish.
"He's a professional in his own right, very green still but he's just got so much ability," Clark said.
"He's very green but once I got onto his back there was no nerves, it was all excitement.
"It's amazing and I've got Leon and my family to thank, they're my biggest supporters and I'm just so happy I could have got the job done today."
WATCH: Dalasan's win
Macdonald said he had no hesistation in retaining Clark's services, noting that she was unbeaten from three races on the Dalakhani colt before the Danehill.
"Somebody said to me all the (jockey) managers had my number on speed dial and if she made a mistake at the 200-metre mark they'd have all rung," Macdonald quipped.
"He was a bit lost up the straight but he overcame that and I'm sure it's onwards and upwards from here - he'll just get better with racing."
Dalasan will have his next start in the $250,000 G3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 29 ahead of the $2 million G1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
He has raced five times for four wins and the only time he was beaten was a luckless defeat with Craig Williams aboard in the G2 VRC Sires' Produce (1400m) in March, while Clark has had one ride at Group 1 level, finishing second-last aboard Star Status ($81) in the 2019 South Australian Derby (2500m).
Of those beaten, Ben Melham said of Express Pass: "He ran well. He's a nice horse still learning his craft. When we got on the course proper I gave him a little click and I thought he was going to go on and win the race but he probably just got a little lost going up the straight."
Mark Zahra said of sixth-placed Super Seth: "I think the horse will improve as the distances get over a bit further. Not really a straight horse too, as his head was on the side and come off the bridle a fair way out but finished off OK."