The Spring Carnival is officially over this weekend and as is the case every year, there were intense highs, and crushing lows, for owners, trainers and punters alike. In this list we take a look at five of the most disappointing horses – in no particular order – that hit the track over the Spring Carnival. These horses are all high achievers in their own right, and have shown big promise in the past but did not live up to expectations this spring.
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This aptly name gelding by Zoustar began his career in Queensland with six consecutive victories including a win over subsequent $2 million Magic Millions Guineas winner Boomsara. Trainer Tony Gollan brought the promising horse down south for the Spring Carnival in hopes of securing an Everest slot. His first start over the carnival was in the G3 $161,000 Concorde Stakes at Randwick where he ran a clear last to two-time Everest winner Redzel and was never really in the race. At his next start, jockey Brett Prebble opted to hit the front out of the gates and try to lead all the way – which had been his usual racing style in Queensland – he looked a moral until the final moment when nabbed right on the line by Renewal. Punters weren’t deterred by this, and at his next and final start of the carnival – the $175000 Ladbrokes Village Stakes – he jumped the odds-on favourite but was headed at the 100m and ran a disappointing 4th.
Clearly difficult to knock this horse which was an $11,000 yearling purchase and has since won over $3.5 million in prize money. But with a great origin story, came very high expectations and she just didn’t live up to them this carnival. Her Spring assault began well with a narrow win in the $201,000 G2 Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield. This made it seven in a row for the mare, adding to the hype and she subsequently started as a $2.05 favourite in her next start in the $752,000 G1 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington where she had no excuses but, to the dismay of many, just couldn’t catch the $101 shot Gatting. Her next start in the $502,500 G1 Turnbull Stakes was a similar story where she ran on well in the straight but was still unable to run down the boys. Her grand final was always going to be the $5 million G1 Cox Plate, and she opened as a $7 second favourite to Lys Gracieux – who ended up winning. She was on speed through the race, settling third, but when asked for a final effort on the turn was unable to muster and ended up running 5th.
This Godolphin filly was a star two-year-old winning the $3.5 million G1 Golden Slipper on a Heavy 9 back in March. As can be the case with many star two-year-olds, she made a disappointing return as a three-year-old in the Spring, only having two runs and failing to run a place in either of them. The filly trialed well leading up to her first race back at Randwick in the $161,000 G3 Toy Show however drifted in betting, from an opening $7.50 to $11 at post-time, and ended up running a lackluster 10th out of the field of 14. Her second and final start of the prep saw Hugh Bowman climb aboard for the $202,000 G2 Furious Stakes where she was set to race against a $1.18 Libertini. Another poor performance ensued and the first four horses ended up gapping Kiamachi back to 5th place 7.8L off the winner.
Chris Waller brought this mare over from WA to run in the $14 million Everest this year. Previously trained by Grant & Alana Williams, she had an illustrious career over in WA, winning 5 of her first 6 starts. Her Everest campaign began well when winning the $202,000 G2 Theo Marks at Rosehill as a $1.95 favourite with James McDonald aboard. With the Everest approaching, it seemed all eyes were on Arcadia Queen, leading jockey James Macdonald would be riding again, and she ended up jumping as a $5 favourite for the second richest race in the world. A few days before the race, when talking about Arcadia’s chances in the Everest, Waller stated “I guess she is a little bit vulnerable over 1200m but she will certainly be very strong at the end of the race.’’ Unfortunately for punters, and less so Waller – as he ended up winning the race with Yes Yes Yes – this was not the case, and Arcadia Queen quickly became overwhelmed in the straight and got spat out the back to run second last. With an unfulfilled appetite for a big pay day, connections opted to run the mare in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle back at Rosehill. She jumped as a $3.30 favourite, and despite racing well, much to punters’ chagrin, she was still unable to land a place and ended up running a close 5th.
The Hayes team now train this very well bred mare, by Sebring out of a Redoute’s Choice mare. She failed to fire in a number of races over the carnival, ending her prep in a very disappointing 15th of 16 20L off the winner in the $1 million Empire Rose Stakes. Her first run of the carnival was in the $160,000 G3 Cockram, where she ran 6th to Pippie. Amphitrite was sat last up until the turn, where she peeled out as the widest runner and stuck on well but was no match for the winner. Up in class at her next start in the $500,000 G1 Rupert Clarke, she jumped as a $6.50 second favourite to subsequent winner and crowd pleaser Begood Toya Mother. Did not offer much this run either, and struggled to go with them in the straight, querying whether she was a Group One class horse. In her penultimate start, the $500,000 G1 Toorak Handicap, Jamie Kah and blinkers were on for the first time. Neither of these seemed to help as the four-year-old mare was off the bit before the home turn and was quickly rounded up by most of the field, finishing 15th of 18.