Every racing jurisdiction gets excited when a legitimate superstar emerges. Australia had Makybe Diva a few years back, then Weekend Hussler burst onto the scene this time last year, slashing his way to greatness.
Secretariat, Alysheba, Sunday Silence, Cigar, Smarty Jones and Big Brown have done same in the U.S.
But what happened at Caulfield on Oct. 11 in Australia shocked even the most hard to please admirer of racing.
A 3-year-old named Whobegotyou (Street Cry--Temple Of Peace, by Carnegie) stamped his passport to supreme dominance in the AUS$1 million Caulfield Guineas (Aus-I). So much so, critics are begging for him to back up in two weeks time and take on Weekend Hussler in the AUS$4 million Cox Plate (Aus-I) over 10 furlongs at Moonee Valley.
“I know his owners are keen to do that but I think he should stay against his age group this season,” nervously said his shaken trainer Mark Kavanagh after Whobegotyou destroyed a field of 18 top flight sophomores over a mile.
If Weekend Hussler, who won the same race with ease last year, made heads shake, this new kid on the block made them all gasp.
“I knew we had a good horse but that was awesome," said Kavanagh, a man it must be said who is not unaccustomed to group I success. "I am actually scared now because I don’t think I’ve seen a horse before that could do what he just did.”
Whobegotyou, having just his sixth start in a race, sat wide from his gate of 12 in about eighth spot throughout, then circled the field approaching the home turn before unleashing such a burst of power that he cruised away to win by nearly four lengths under a hand ride over the final furlong.
His rider Michael Rodd, said, “I know Mark (Kavanagh) is lost for words and so he should be but I will make up for it. This is a superstar, a real racehorse and if he can stay he could be anything he wants to be.”
That staying test will begin next start when the four-time winner of AUS$775,950 steps up to 10 furlongs – either in the Cox Plate or a 3-year-old race worth $100,000 on the same day. Either way, it will tell connections whether he will get a trip. If so, he will take on the AUS$2 million VRC Derby over 12 furlongs at Flemington in early November.
“That is the aim and I see no reason why he can’t run a trip,” added Rodd, who won the Derby on Efficient two years ago, then backed up to win the Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) over two miles on the same horse last year.
The win and run by Whobegotyou were so pronounced many simply forgot all about the rest of the field. Second home was the impossibly well bred Time Thief (Redoute’s Choice--Procrastinate, by Jade Hunter) who is building a strong case for stallion material.
He was racing for just the fourth time yet finished his race off in grand fashion chasing home a legitimate superstar and emerging as the best stallion hope since the winner is a gelding.
He came from pretty much next to the winner on the turn and sprinted gamely. He looks like he may mature into a star and may even run a route despite his pedigree.
Certainly third placed Von Costa de Hero (Encosta de Lago--Piavonic, by Scenic) will. Bought by Sheikh Mohammed as a fresh-faced 2-year-old who was showing talent, he sat next to last throughout. He was 16 lengths behind the leader turning for home, copped a bad buffeting as he straightened for his charge down the lane, but came home gamely none-the-less. He has future staying star written all over him and he looms as a big Derby chance.
Incidentally Darley owns both minor placegetters.
Duporth, ridden by Hugh Bowman, who copped a 13-meeting suspension for his ride, was gallant in fourth. The fifth horse home Carnero may be a superstar in the making, too. This could well have been a Guineas for the ages as the top five finishers seem to be many grades above the ordinary.