Shamexpress launched an explosive rally from the back of the field and wore down favorite Moment of Change to win the Lexus Newmarket Handicap (Aus-I) in the final stride March 9 at Flemington.
The race was the first of a $1 million double of group I events on the card, precedinga victory by Super Cool in the Australia Cup.
Group I winner Moment of Change came into the Newmarket off a second to Black Caviar in the Coolmore Lightning Stakes (Aus-I) Feb. 16 at Flemington. At the 200-meter mark, the 3-1 favorite appeared en route to victory in the absence of the undefeated champion, but Shamexpress exploded into contention on the outside when asked by Craig Newitt. He steadily reeled in his competitor for a thrilling win in a three-way finish as Aeronautical flashed up on the inside to get third.
Trainer Danny O'Brien said a trip to Royal Ascot this spring could be a goal for Shamexpress, a New Zealand-bred 3-year-old by current New Zealand leading sire O'Reilly. He is out of the Volksraad mare Volkrose.
"We'll let the dust settle, but there would be a chance that we'll be off to Europe," O'Brien told the Australian Associated Press.
Shamexpress, sent off at 15-1, covered 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) in 1:08.16.
Later on the card, Super Cool spurted past the Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) winner and 7-2 favorite Green Moon in early stretch and wore down fellow 3-year-old Fiveandahalfstar to win the Australia Cup by a short head.
For the second straight race, Super Cool turned the tables on Fiveandahalfstar, who defeated him in the Victoria Derby (Aus-I) last November at Flemington. He became just the third sophomore in Australia Cup history to capture the 2,000-meter (about 1 1/4-mile) weight for age event, covering the trip in 2:00.93.
"I was fortunate to get a beautiful run; I was able to come away one off the fence and I kept tracking for as long as I could because I had Green Moon in front of me and I had him covered coming around the turn," winning jockey Michael Rodd said.
"I looked up and saw 'Bossy' (Glen Boss aboard Fiveandahalfstar) and I had deja vu of the Derby last carnival when Fiveandahalfstar kicked away, but I was right next to him and I knew I was on a better and stronger horse this time."
Super Cool, by current Australian leading sire Fastnet Rock, added a third group stakes to his record and first at the top level. He entered off a victory over Fiveandahalfstar in the BMW Caulfield Autumn Classic (Aus-II) Feb. 23.
The Australian-bred gelding is out of the Kingmambo mare Queen Mother, a half sister to three U.S. stakes winners, including grade III winner Bound by Honor. Super Cool is from the family of Soaring Softly, U.S. champion turf female of 1999.