Onwards and upwards for Northern Beaches

Champion hoop James McDonald has navigated a narrow run to win aboard Northern Beaches.

Race experience has proven vital for blue-blooded colt Northern Beaches, who is being set for loftier targets after squeezing through a sliver of an inside run to break his maiden at Canterbury. 

Having placed in three of his four starts as a juvenile, the three-year-old resumed in Wednesday's Ranvet Handicap (1200m) on a mission to get a win on the board. 

Northern Beaches ($4.40) travelled kindly in the run but found himself bailed up behind tiring horses at the top of the straight and had to boldly shoulder his way through a narrow split before racing clear to score. 

"I shut my eyes and just had to keep a bit," winning jockey James Mcdonald said. 

"He's a professional colt. He takes everything in his stride and you probably couldn't have done that if he was a first starter but he had plenty of experience and he won with a bit of authority." 

A $1 million yearling, Northern Beaches is raced by a group of high-profile owners led by Coolmore and the colt will be given the chance to measure up against the better three-year-olds this spring. 

Charlie Duckworth, racing manager for trainer Chris Waller, said the horse had always shown above-average talent but had needed time to furnish. 

"Now he has matured and he is going to be a lovely three-year-old for us," Duckworth said. 

"It was more about trying to get the win on the board today and then he'll be back into the feature races coming into the spring carnival. 

"Wednesday grade up to the Group races is a big old jump but him being able to overcome the stop-start tempo of the way his race was run shows he's got the class to do it." 

Northern Beaches holds nominations for the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) and the Caulfield Guineas (1600m). 

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