Four year old mare Real Love proved much too good for her rivals in the Group 2 Perth Cup over 2400 metres at Ascot on New Year's Day; Real Love was uncharacteristically taken to the front from the start by champion jockey William Pike and she was then challenged by Kirov Boy at the 1100-metre mark. After beating-off Kirov Boy around the turn Real Love had to dig-deep to hold Red Blast at-bay in the straight. It was a brave performance by Real Love which has had an outstanding preparation of six starts for four wins and two seconds. The win of Real Love continued a marvelous Summer for Pike and trainer Adam Durrant.
Read more: Real Love Too Classy In Perth Cup
Evergreen galloper I'm Imposing created history by being the first horse since Donald in 1928-1929 to win consecutive Summer Cups; I'm Imposing's effort was even more meritorious as he lumped 59kg, the second highest weight carried to victory in the last 100 years. I'm Imposing was given a great ride by Tye Angland to be midfield one off the fence and from there I'm Imposing proved too good for Midsummer Sun and Casino Dancer. Chris Waller has I'm Imposing in the best form of his career and as I'm Imposing is a nine year old this is another remarkable achievement from this champion trainer.
Read more: I'm Imposing Creates Summer Cup History
Big Money proved far too good for his rivals in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes over 1350 metres at Doomben; not only did Big Money have to lump 59.5 kg but he was also having his first start beyond 1200 metres. Robert Thompson had Big Money beautifully placed third on the fence shortly after the start and he easily ran-down Whiskey Allround in the straight. Big Money's career record now stands at nine wins and four seconds from fifteen starts. The Rod Northam-trained Big Money will now target the Brisbane Winter Carnival with the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in June his ultimate goal.
Read more: Big Money Big Winner In Lough Neagh
Queenslander Rudy proved too strong in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes over 1600 metres at Randwick; Rudy sliced between runners in the straight to snatch victory from I'm Imposing which looked the winner. It was a beautiful ride by apprentice Luke Tarrant and it is easy to see why Tarrant is currently leading the Brisbane Jockeys' Premiership. It was a brave decision by connections of Rudy to bypass the Brisbane Handicap at Doomben to run in the Villiers but their decision paid full dividends. Rudy is trained by Helen Page on the Gold Coast and it was her second Villiers after she won with Spot The Rock in 1989.
Read more: Villiers To Rudy, Helen and Luke
Champion jockey Douglas Whyte combined with champion trainer Chris Waller to win the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic over 1800 metres at Ascot with Moriarty. Disposition was perfectly ridden by William Pike and he was quickly in the box-seat after drawing an outside barrier; Disposition looked the winner when he dashed to the lead in the straight but Moriarty and Whyte were in hot pursuit. Disposition and Moriarty had a tremendous battle to the line and Moriarty prevailed by a narrow margin; Railway Stakes winner Elite Belle battled-on well for third. Moriarty's win provided Waller with his 8th Group 1 for season 2014/2015 which is a remarkable achievement considering the season is not yet half-over. Part of Waller's amazing success is having the best jockeys in the world ride for him in the big races; Whyte joins Zac Purton and Joao Moreira as Group 1 winning jockeys for Waller this season.
Read more: Whyte and Waller Win Classic Kingston Town
Read more: Racing Pauses To Honour Phil Hughes
Six year old mare Elite Belle proved too good in the Group 1 Railway Stakes over 1600 metres at Ascot courtesy of a brilliant ride by champion Perth jockey William Pike; Pike found the rails on Elite Belle from an outside barrier and as the pressure was applied before the turn the field opened-up and Pike was able to slice his way through and Elite Belle was good enough to put-away her rivals. The Grant Williams-trained Elite Belle is a real 1600-metre specialist having won all four of her starts at the distance. Another local mare Balmont Girl battled-on strongly for second while Moriarty and Smokin' Joey did best of the interstate brigade finishing third and fourth. The Cleaner could not maintain his superb Spring form and he weakened out of it to finish ninth.
Read more: Elite Belle Cleans Up Railway
This year's edition of the Group 2 Zipping Classic over 2400 metres was one of the most thrilling ever with French galloper Au Revoir just touching-off Epingle in a titanic-struggle to the line; the Andre Fabre-trained Au Revoir had finished third in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and a gallant eighth in the Melbourne Cup at his other two Australian starts and he showed tremendous courage to come-again and win. Epingle looked a massive chance when James McDonald drove her through on the inside of Au Revoir but Au Revoir and Kerrin McEvoy would not be denied and they combined for a memorable victory. It is likely that Au Revoir will race in Australia next year under the care of Peter Moody.
Read more: Au Revoir Noses-Out Epingle In Zipping
German galloper Protectionist streeted his rivals in the Melbourne Cup; in a fast-run Cup Protectionist was well-back in the run and sliced his way through the field, taking the lead at about the 300 metre mark before he powered away to win by four lengths. It was a brilliant ride by champion jockey Ryan Moore aboard Protectionist and it came just over a week after he won the Cox Plate on Adelaide. Trainer Andreas Wohler stuck with the proven method of giving Protectionist one run before The Cup when he was a fast-finishing fourth in the Herbert Power. Protectionist's win was the most dominant since champion stayer Doriemus strode-away with the 1995 Cup. The controversial death of Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti soon after the race left most people aghast and this was exacerbated by the accidental death of Araldo.
Read more: German Raider Wins Bittersweet Melbourne Cup
Aidan O'Brien's Adelaide created history by being the first foreign-trained galloper to win the Group 1 W S Cox Plate at Moonee Valley; only a three year old by Northern hemisphere time Adelaide came from last and swept around the whole field. With champion jockey Ryan Moore riding hard Adelaide sustained his surge in the straight to wear-down Fawkner with Silent Achiever third; it was a fantastic win by Adelaide and he was only 0.22 seconds outside Might And Power's track record set when he won the Cox Plate in 1998. Aidan O'Brien is a prolific Group 1-winning trainer around the world and his first Group 1 in Australia will give him immense satisfaction. Lloyd Williams looked a massive chance of claiming his first Cox Plate when Fawkner hit the front at the top of the straight but Adelaide was just too strong. Cult hero The Cleaner was forced to work overtime to reach the lead and the Pride of Tasmania ran another great race.
Read more: Aidan's Adelaide Denies Lloyd Elusive Cox Plate