A crowd of 90,136 enjoyed the Group 1 action at Flemington
PICTURE: Getty Images
Report: Australia, Saturday
Flemington: AAMI Victoria Derby (Group 1) 1m4½f, 3yo
PRIZED ICON (James Cummings/Glyn Schofield) skipped away with Australia’s oldest Classic for a trainer whose family’s history is interwoven with that of Flemington racecourse.
The legendary and late Bart Cummings, nicknamed the Cups King, was the grandfather of Prized Icon’s trainer James, with the colt’s victory meaning four generations of the Cummings clan have now got their hands on the Victoria Derby trophy.
Favourite Sacred Elixir loomed up seemingly full of running but nobody could live with the late turn of foot demonstrated by Prized Icon, who may have caused some interference as he hung left en route to a second career Group 1.
“It’ll take me a little while for this to sink in,” said an emotional Cummings.
“My first thing to reflect on is how beautifully Glyn had the horse travelling in the early stages and to win a staying race like this, horses just love to be in their own space.
“He’s been a model of consistency and he’s won this nicely and convincingly.”
Also on Saturday
Flemington: Coolmore Stud Stakes (Group 1) 6f, turf, 3yo
FLYING ARTIE (Mick Price/Hugh Bowman) swooped from last to first to land the valuable Coolmore Stud Stakes, a race billed as one of Australia’s most important stallion-making contests.
Bowman, deputising for the suspended Damien Oliver, positioned himself with the far-side group as the field tackled the Flemington straight and burst through inside the final half-furlong to win going away from Astern in second.
The win was a significant one at the highest level for Flying Artie, who had previously placed in both the Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond, and Price said: “He’s won the right Group 1, hasn’t he?
“It was fantastic and that’s just the horse. A lesser horse couldn’t have done this and I’m delighted he’s won the big Group 1 for three-year-old colts. I couldn’t be happier.”
Flemington: Cantala Stakes (Group 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+
LE ROMAIN (Kris Lees/Hugh Bowman) provided his jockey with a Group 1 double on the day as he became a two-time Group 1 winner.
Bowman cruised into contention and overhauled the breakaway leader Mackintosh for what his trainer believes was a deserved success.
“He’s been underrated but not at our stable,” said Lees. “We came in confident he would run well and he got the right breaks.”
Bowman added: “We were quietly confident and I’m delighted for everyone at Kris’s stable to get a big one.
“This horse is outstanding, he won the Randwick Guineas fair and square and he has an excellent record.”
Flemington: Myer Classic (Group 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+ fillies and mares
I AM A STAR (Shane Nichols/Dean Yendall) proved just that as she held off her rivals to land the Myer Classic.
Having hit the front just over a furlong out, I Am A Star looked there to be shot at but the swarming mass of runners towards the centre of the track could not overhaul her, with her previous winning experience around this track perhaps the telling factor.
“I’m trying to take it all in,” said Nichols after what was his first Group 1 success.
“I’m very excited and pleased to win here on Derby day. It’s something you dream might happen one day but it’s great it finally has.”
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