Japan’s Admire Rakti has produced a withering sprint to win the $3 million Caulfield Cup.
Settling in the second half of the field, Admire Rakti ($11) mowed down New Zealand mare Rising Romance ($12) to reinforce the strength of Japanese-trained stayers in world racing.
Admire Rakti was ridden by Australian jockey Zac Purton who returned from Hong Kong to ride the top-weight.
“You only had to look at his run in the Japan Cup (last year) and he was going to be hard to beat today,” Purton said.
The favourite Lucia Valentina ($4) took third place.
Admire Rakti was one of two Japanese horses to accept for the Caulfield Cup but Bande was withdrawn 24 hours before the race because of a tendon issue.
Rising Romance was sent forward at the start by jockey James McDonald before he took a trail.
She didn’t have to go around a horse as McDonald shot her to the front and was being hailed the winner until Admire Rakti arrived on the scene.
“We’ve been beaten by a better horse on the day,” Rising Romance’s trainer Donna Logan said.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy said Lucia Valentina’s cause wasn’t helped when the speed was taken out of the race in the middle stages.
“She was very gallant in defeat … just didn’t get the rub of the green with the way the pace and tempo worked out,” McEvoy said.
Brambles was the first home of Peter Moody’s two runners, finishing fourth after momentarily looming up at the 300m.
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller had four runners with Junoob doing best of the quartet, finishing seventh.