Defier Snaps Group I Losing Streak

Dehere's best southern son, Defier, snapped his group I losing streak with a hard fought win in the $500,000 (Australian funds) Doomben Cup (Aust-I) May 29.

Defier (4-1) sent his earnings to within $24,000 of $4 million with his 1 1/4-length win over Pentastic. His 2:11.67 for the 2,200 meters of Brisbane's Doomben oval smashed the track and race record by 1.33 seconds. Rhythm's Auckland Cup winner Upsetthym (20-1) was six lengths farther away, to be third of the 15 runners.

A gelded 6 year-old warrior, Defier, had seemed close to retirement to his crew. After running second as Northerly completed back-to-back W.S. Cox Plates (Aust-I) in 2002, he placed in his next five group Is without winning. They included the 2003 Cox last spring; he ran second to split Fields of Omagh and Lonhro.

With his finishing drive seemingly blunted by age, Defier had disappointed on the way to the Doomben Cup. But Guy Walter turned him out at the top of his game and Hugh Bowman timed the horse's finish just right. His first group I success was a going away present--the young rider is headed to Ireland for a brief sojourn.

As he so often is, Pentastic was brave, but the Pentire 5-year-old had no answer to Defier when it counted. Pentastic still awaits his first group I success, although he has placed second four times and third in threr other of 15 group I attempts beyond a mile. They include the Australian and Victoria Derbys and a second to Lonhro in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Bred by Bhima Stud, Defier was an $80,000 purchase by Anthony Cummings at the 1999 Magic Millions yearling sale. The first foal of Marscay daughter Lilandee later went to the barn of John Size, moving on again to Walter when Size left for Hong Kong.

His career record reads 10 wins, six seconds, and eight thirds from 34 starts for earnings of $2,974,450. His previous group I victories came at Randwick in the George Main Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Dehere shuttled for Coolmore from 1995-1999. After his sale to Japan, he commuted from JBBA Shiznunai to Arrowfield in 2002-2003. He stayed south at Arrowfield this year.

For Cummings it was the second time he has watched on as one of his yearling purchases collected a Doomben Cup for another trainer. At Easter 1995, he signed the invoice at $40,000 for the champion Might And Power, hero of the 1998 Doomben Cup and the 1997 Melbourne Cup (Aust-I).