Fields of Omagh manufactured a sensational career finale with a stunning last-to-first victory in the $3 million (Australian) W.S. Cox Plate (Aus-I) at Moonee Valley on Oct 28.
At 9 the eldest runner and more than twice the age of almost half of the other 11, Fields of Omagh out-sprinted his rivals to the wire to win by a nose from the equally gallant 4-year-old El Segundo (3-1).
The victory stretched an impressive spring feature race sequence by handler David Hayes and rider Craig Williams.
Phoenix Ruler (14-1) was third a long head away. The 4-year-old son of Genuine was swamped by the first pair close to the wire after he appeared to have stolen the race when dashing clear at the top of the brief stretch.
Kieren Fallon finished fourth on Aqua d'Amore, beaten less than a length. In winning an earlier race, the Moir Stakes (Aus-II) on California Dane, the Irish jockey drew a lenient 10-meeting suspension. It expires on Nov 6, the eve of the Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) allowing him to still pilot second elect, Yeats.
A muddling tempo saw the 2:06.89 gross for the 2,040 meters more than three seconds outside Might and Power's race and track record. It contributed to a rough race but only added to the luster of the performances of the first pair home. They were the last two into the final 600 meters.
One of the chief sufferers was the lone 3-year-old, Miss Finland. The One Thousand Guineas (Aus-I) winner pin-balled off others several times before finishing sixth.
Grey Swallow (Ire), the lone northern-bred after the withdrawal of Honor In War, disappointed in last place after a heavy check near the 600-meter mark.
Honor In War's race-morning scratching came after he tested positive to an unnamed 'illegal' substance, administered in the U.S. Australia has a 'drug-free' racing policy.
Top Sydney miler Racing to Win ran a 11-4 elect, but beat only Grey Swallow home after being posted wide.
Fields of Omagh's second Cox Plate victory earned his crew $1.82 million and makes him the fourth-highest money-earner in Australasian history at $6.45 million.
The race's tenth multiple winner is by 1988 Cox winner, Rubiton, from a daughter of Italian Derby (Ity-I) winner Cerreto (Ire).