After having to suffer the shocking protest-loss of the CS Hayes Stakes a fortnight earlier the connections of Palentino had to endure another protest but on this occasion the correct decision was made by stewards and Palentino claimed the G1 Australian Guineas for 3-Y-O's over 1600m at Flemington. In a magnificent battle in the straight the Darren Weir-trained Palentino fought-on valiantly to defeat Victoria Derby winner Tarzino by a half-head with a further half-length to Risque in third place. It was a great ride by Mark Zahra who had to push-out on Palentino to obtain clear running in the straight; Palentino has shown tremendous courage at his last two starts and his future at the elite level looks assured.
Read more: Palentino's Australian Guineas Richly Deserved
Mick Price had the ultimate success in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes for 2-Y-O's over 1200m when he trained the quinella with Extreme Choice and Flying Artie. Both Extreme Choice and Flying Artie came into the Blue Diamond with outstanding credentials and as a result Damien Oliver had to make a very difficult decision as to which of the two he would ride; Oliver chose to ride Flying Artie and Craig Newitt took full advantage by guiding Extreme Choice to a memorable Blue Diamond victory. After drawing awkwardly Newitt had Extreme Choice travelling easily close to the leaders and Extreme Choice exploded to the lead when Newitt released the brakes in the straight. Flying Artie made-up a tremendous amount of ground to be beaten 1.75 lengths but Extreme Choice was the best horse on the day. Extreme Choice and Flying Artie are heading to Sydney for the G1 Golden Slipper on March 19 and if they repeat these performances they will take a lot of beating.
Read more: Mick Price's Extreme Blue Diamond Success
On a very controversial day's racing at Flemington Chautauqua with Dwayne Dunn aboard thundered-home to win the G1 Black Caviar Lightning over 1000m by a nose from Terravista with Japonisme a short half-head way in third place. Terravista looked certain to win when he raced-past Japonisme with about 200m to travel; Terravista then seemed to lose momentum when Damien Oliver struggled to maintain control of his whip and Terravista snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. As the winning margin was only a nose it is difficult not to feel sorry for the connections of Terravista and the punters who backed him. However nothing should be taken-away from Team Hawkes' Chautauqua which did not look a winning chance until the final 50m and his effort to win his third G1 was outstanding; Chautauqua probably needs 1200m now and he will continue be very competitive. Japonisme ran a great race while Exosphere had little to no chance racing on the slower inside section of the straight.
Read more: Chautauqua's Lightning Strike In Black Caviar
On a great day of racing in Melbourne and Sydney there were many highlights; champion mare Winx made a wonderful return to racing proving a class above her rivals in the G2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick while top-class mare Suavito returned after a long spell to defeat a strong field in the G1 C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield. Champion trainer Darren Weir had a field day at Caulfield with four winners including Mahuta which won the G2 Autumn Stakes in typically-tough style and in the process he registered his sixth consecutive win. Mahuta is a tremendous favourite of Wizard Of The Turf as can be seen from the table below and may his winning streak continue!
||$4W @ $8.50 & $4P @ $2.80
||$6W @ $5.00 & $6P @ $2.05
||$8W @ $4.60
||$8W @ $3.30
Read more: Magnificent Mahuta Makes It Six In A Row
Multiple Group winner Amicus added the G2 Thoroughbred Breeders NSW Breeders Classic over 1200m at Randwick to her collection; having her first start since running fifth to Politeness in the G1 Myer Classic Amicus only just prevailed in the Breeders Classic but it was an excellent performance. Having drawn barrier one Hugh Bowman had little option to stay close to the fence in the straight where no other horse won all day; the bolter Press Report defied her six rivals for the entire straight before Amicus made a late dive to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the final stride. Amicus also had to give all her rivals at least 3kg so there were absolutely no excuses for the beaten brigade; Amicus has clearly returned in very good order and she will continue to be very competitive throughout the Autumn.
Read more: More Group Glory For Amicus In Breeders Classic
Team Hawkes' Our Boy Malachi proved a class above his rivals in the G2 Expressway Stakes over 1200m at Rosehill minutes before a severe thunderstorm struck and the final two races had to be abandoned; taken straight to front by Tommy Berry Our Boy Malachi never looked like losing at any stage and he careered-away to win by three lengths in 1 minute 11.65 seconds on the slow-7 track. Solicit and Big Money battled-on well for the minor placings but they were no match at all for Our Boy Malachi. Despite being the best performed sprinter in the Expressway Our Boy Malachi was a massive on-course drifter from $1.90 to $3.30 but it made absolutely no difference. Our Boy Malachi has built-up an imposing record of eighteen wins from twenty-two career starts and although Our Boy Malachi is a rising 8-Y-O there are more wins in-store.
Read more: Malachi Makes Expressway One Act Affair
3-Y-O Holler proved much too good in the G2 Australia Stakes over 1200m at Moonee Valley; as expected Craig Williams had Holler sitting outside Sirbible and Holler quickly raced-past Sirbible around the home turn. The favourite Rebel Dane and Churchill Dancer were there to challenge Holler at the top of the straight but Holler easily held his rivals at-bay to win by a length from Churchill Dancer with Rebel Dane a disappointing third. Holler impressed in the Spring running a good third to Exosphere and Press Statement in the Run To The Rose and winning the Red Anchor at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day by a big space. It was a great training effort by John O'Shea to have Holler at the top of his game first-up and there are many more wins in-store for this son of Commands. Hucklebuck and Trust In A Gust ran well at their first runs after long spells.
Read more: Holler Far Too Good In Australia Stakes
Darren Gauci, affectionately known as 'The Gauch' produced a perfect front-running ride aboard Tudor and Doug Harrison's 4-Y-O easily held his rivals at-bay in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes over 1400m at Flemington. Tudor had not won a race since September 2014 but with Gauci controlling proceedings in-front Tudor never looked like losing the Manifold. Tried And Tired and Zupacharged battled-on well for the minor placings but they were no match for Tudor on the day. Gauci was one of Australia's leading jockeys over a long period of time but he does not receive the same opportunities these days; however 50-Y-O Gauci still has what it takes given the right opportunities.
Read more: The Gauch Turns Back Clock At Flemington
Peter and Paul Snowden's Capitalist made a one-act affair of the $ 2,000,000 Magic Million Classic for 2-Y-O's over 1200m at the Gold Coast; Capitalist had been very impressive in his two previous victories and he was backed as if there was no tomorrow starting a red-hot favourite at $1.40. Capitalist was racing in restricted room for the first 100m but after that punters who took the short-odds were on very good terms with themselves. Blake Shinn rode Capitalist like he was the best horse and Capitalist did not let him down bursting to the lead at the top of the straight and he kept-going to win by 2.5 lengths from Nilitas and Candika. Only Dance Hero and Phelan Ready have taken the Magic Millions/Golden Slipper double but Capitalist is heading in the right direction to become the third.
Read more: Capitalist and Mahuta Dominate Magic Millions
Marvellous mare Delicacy created history carrying 59kg to a stunning victory in the G2 Perth Cup over 2400m at Ascot; no mare had ever carried more than 55kg and no horse had carried more than 55.5kg in over forty years to win the Perth Cup so Delicacy's winning performance was truly one for the ages. With Peter Hall back-on Delicacy had a lovely trail three pairs back along the rails but Kirov Boy started to drop-out when the pressure was applied before the turn and Hall did very well to avoid severe interference. Delicacy found enough galloping room in the straight to dart through on the inside of Neverland and Delicacy proved too classy in the drive to the line. It was a triumph for Grant Williams who trained the quinella with Delicacy and Neverland while Bob Peters owned all three placegetters with Real Love running third. Delicacy will now go for a well-earned spell with a view to bringing her back for an interstate campaign in the Autumn.
Read more: Delicacy Creates Perth Cup History