The last day of the Rosehill autumn carnival features were held on Saturday with the running of the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes and Tancred Stakes.
Meanwhile, Flemington hosted the Australian Cup to close off the Victorian Autumn Carnival.
Four Group 1’s across two different states headlined another terrific weekend of racing. Although the market suggested the New Zealand contingent were in for a good weekend, the emphatic nature of Imperatriz and Prowess’ victories were undeniable.
Imperatriz fell within a stride of beating Artorious in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes at Randwick last start and was a drifting favourite for the Group 1 William Reid at The Valley on Friday night. Fellow New Zealander, Babylon Berlin ($13 – $6.50), was best backed late in the race, but faded as Opie Bossom produced a peach to get home aboard Imperatriz.
The weekend continued at Rosehill on Saturday as leading three-year-old filly Prowess toyed with her rivals in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes. After defeating the older horses in a tight finish last start, Mark Zahra sat quietly aboard Prowess as she powered past her opposition to win.
Pavitra was the best of the rest in a performance which suggests the ATC Oaks may be all but over if Prowess does push on in a fortnight’s time. The run autumn raid for New Zealand looks to continue in the next few weeks as Sharp ‘N’ Smart returns to Australian shores as favourite for the ATC Derby, as he seeks vengeance for his narrow defeat in the VRC Derby behind Manzoice at Flemington.
Cascadian has always been as maligned as he has been loved by the racing public since arriving on Australian shores. His get back, run on pattern saw the Godolphin gelding often run into the placings and tease his fans.
However, on Saturday, his loyal supporters were paid once again as the eight-year-old overcame an unlucky run in transit to power over the top of Numerian in the Australian Cup. It was the third Group 1 triumph for the much loved gelding.
Goldman Stamps Cup Ticket
With a golden ticket into the 2023 Melbourne Cup up for grabs to the winner of Saturday’s Listed Roy Higgins (2600m) at Flemington, it was Goldman who booked his spot in the field for the first Tuesday of November.
The New Zealand import was sensational when bolting in by five-lengths at his first two Australian starts in New South Wales, but faced a stiff rise in class on Saturday from the midweek fields had beaten before.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained four-year-old showed superior staying skills when leading all the way, defeating once Melbourne Cup favourite Soulcombe by over two-lengths.
The win saw Goldman firm into $11 with TAB for the Melbourne Cup and share now shares favouritism with his stablemate White Marlin.
Just What Punters ‘Need’
The market suggested What You Need is a future Group horse as the unbeaten favourite jumped a well-backed favourite for the Listed Sunlight Classic (1100m) at Flemington.
After Benedetta and What You Need basically shared favouritism at $2.70 throughout the week, it was the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained gelding who the market sided with.
What You Need firmed into $2.25 as Benedetta drifted to $3.20 by the jump. Benedetta could only manage to run into third as What You Need powered away for another impressive one-length win over Renosu.
The win saw What You Need extend his unbeaten streak to three and firm into $3.50 joint-favourite alongside Aft Cabin for the Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint.