Gallant High Chaparral galloper Descarado has outstayed his rivals to win Saturday’s $2.5 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Descarado ($17), trained by racing’s first lady Gai Waterhouse, slogged to the line to defeat Harris Tweed ($17) by a length and a quarter with Monaco Consul ($21) a head away in third.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Shocking produced an eye catching run down the outside to finish fourth, while English import Manighar was also impressive in fifth.
As expected, the race turned into a slogfest in the heavy conditions.
Descarado, who raced handy to the pace throughout, moved up to the lead around the home turn and was simply the best stayer on the day.
Waterhouse, who had never won any of the Melbourne features, was ecstatic after the win of Descarado.
“Isn’t it exciting? It’s absolutely a dream come true,” Waterhouse said.
“He’s improved so much, he was so relaxed.”
Jockey Chris Munce was emotional after the race, having completed the Grand Slam (Golden Slipper, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate, Melbourne Cup) for Australian jockeys.
He joins Darren Beadman, Damien Oliver and Jimmy Cassidy as the only current riders to have completed the feat.
The great ride by Munce capped his return to the highest level of riding in Australia.
It was less than two years ago that Munce was still incarcerated in Hong Kong.
He was jailed in 2006 for his part in a “tips for bets” scandal.
“What a thrill,” he said.
“It’s the big four now, so everything else is a bonus.”
Descarado will now aim to become just the 12th horse to complete the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double.
The last horse to do the double was Ethereal in 2001.
He is into $12 equal second favourite with TAB Sportsbet, with the favourites So You Think and Shocking at $5.
The stablemate of the winner, third favourite Herculian Prince, raced near the lead but struggled in the going and faded to finish 9th.
The well supported Alcopop loomed up to the leaders on the home turn, but could not go on and finished 11th.
Legendary trainer Bart Cummings, who quinellaed the race last year, suffered a reversal of fortune with his runners Faint Perfume and Dariana finishing second last and last respectively.
Written by Andrew Hawkins