Waller Wins Another Group I in Australia
Trainer Chris Waller notched a third group I win this season when Boban stormed on the outside from the back of the field to edge favorite Streama in the Star Epsom (Aus-I) Oct. 5 at Royal Randwick.
The 1,600 meter (about one-mile) race was one of a three of group I races on the card and was bookended by the Coolmore Flight Stakes (Aus-I), won by Guelph, and the McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (Aus-I), captured by former Irish classic starter Seville.
From the first Australian crop of Darley's Kentucky-based Bernardini , 4-year-old Boban was checked hard at the 600-meter mark but recovered to launch a furious rally and deny Streama in the final stride. He was timed in 1:34.43 while earning his third stakes win and first group I. He is unbeaten in three starts this season.
Toydini, also by Bernardini, finished a close third in the 16-horse field. Streama and Toydini are stablemates trained by Guy Walter.
Waller was recently honored with the Bart Cummings Award for winning more group I races during the 2012-2013 season than any other Australian trainer. This season he has won the Golden Rose Stakes with Zoustar and the Makybe Diva Stakes with Foreteller.
Boban is out of 1996 Australian Oaks (Aus-I) winner Kenbelle, by Kenmare.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Guelph started as the 13-10 favorite in the Flight Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and lived up to expectations with a convincing victory.
Racing three wide without cover, the Exceed And Excel filly asserted herself at the 300-meter mark and cruised to a 1 3/4-length triumph over Sensibility. She was timed in 1:36.23 for 1,600 meters and will be aimed for the Thousand Guineas (Aus-I) Oct. 16 at Caulfield.
Darley-bred Guelph is out of Australian group I winner Caramilla, by Elusive Quality .
Seville caught determined pacesetter Julienas to win the Metropolitan by a half-length in a group I breakthrough at 10-1 odds.
A 6-year-old Galileo horse formerly trained by Aidan O'Brien, Seville previously finished second three times at the group I level in Europe: the 2011 Irish Derby, the Grand Prix de Paris, and the Racing Post Trophy.
Ridden by Hugh Bowman for trainer Robert Hickmott, Seville tracked Julienas from third before rallying along the inside to win the 2,400-meter (about 1 1/2-mile) race in 2:32.07 for a partnership that includes prominent Australian owner Lloyd Williams. Seville is out of multiple French group II winner Silverskaya, by Silver Hawk.
Veteran jockey Jim Cassidy was continuing his quest for a 100th group I winner, but his bid in the Metropolitan ended in tragedy when his mount, Lucripetous, sustained suspected broken shoulder and was subsequently euthanized.
South Australian Happy Trials got up late to deny Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) favorite Puissance de Lune in a Turnbull Stakes (Aus-I) upset at Flemington.
At 26-1 odds, the 6-year-old Good Journey gelding burst from between horses nearing the finish line won by a short neck under Dwayne Dunn. He covered 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) in 2:02.95.
"He's a great horse," trainer Paul Beshara said. "Now he'll get the respect he deserves."
Happy Trails, who is out of the Perugino mare Madame Flurry, added a second group l win to his record of six wins, six seconds, and six thirds. He captured the 2012 Emirates Cantala Stakes (Aus-I) from Fawkner, who finished a close-up third in the Turnbull behind runner-up Puissance de Lune, the 7-2 favorite.
Fiorente stormed from the back of the field to finish fourth, deposing Puissance de Lune as Melbourne Cup favorite.
Group I racing in the Southern Hemisphere also included Ransomed's 30-1 upset over Nashville and Survived in the Turks Spring Classic at Hastings in New Zealand.
The Handsome Ransom gelding charged between the two favorites and won by a nose from Nashville, at 4-1 odds. Survived, the 5-2 favorite, finished a neck back in third.
The win provided trainer and co-owner Gary Vile and jockey Johnathan Parkes with their first group I wins.
Ransomed was timed in 2:04.21 for 2,040 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) to improve his record to eight wins, five seconds, and two thirds from 35 career starts. Winner of the 2012 Manawatu Cup (NZ-III), Ransomed is out of the winning Sky Filou mare Ski Queen. He is the first group I winner Wellfield Lodge-based sire Handsome Ransom.
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