It seems rather appropriate…in hindsight of course, that two visitors from the British isles fought out the Gr 2 Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2600m at Flemington.
They being the sensationally backed Irish pair PONDUS (Sea The Moon-Diablerette) and TRUE SELF (Oscar-Good Thought).
The mare, True Self, won the race by a length drawing away, as she did this time last year. Only this time she was ridden by Hugh Bowman, and brilliantly ridden by him despite them trying to knock her down with 200m to go, and at $25.
Last year she won the race as a $2.50f with Ryan Moore in the irons.
“I had the horse to capitalize and yeah it was a narrow gap I was aiming for but she got through it and we won well,” said Bowman.
“She didn’t spend any fuel during the run and she finished it off strongly. Willie Mullins horses are always fit and ready to run.”
The ride by Bowman was a beauty on a horse who finished 13th at her last start, and the win was Bowman’s 4th during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The victory took the old 8YO mare’s earning to $956,000 and was her 10th. But you can’t help but feel a tad sorry for her connections as she was number 25 into the field of 24 for this year’s Melbourne Cup. The race had no reserves so she couldn’t start when there was a scratching.
This race, then became a lovely consolation prize.
But many people were hurting after the race.
This was because the runner-up, Pondus, was backed from $3.40 into $1.95 and he loomed to win the r4ace after his rider Damien Oliver also gave him every chance. In contrast to Bowman, Oliver brought ther Irishman down the outside and he looked the winner until Bowman weaved his magic.
Pondus has raced twice in Australia now and has been 2nd both times, narrowly and unluckily being beaten in the Geelong Cup the start prior.
Third home was CHAPADA (Bullet Train-Diamantina Dior) who dash clear just before the clock tower and ran a courageous race under dan Stackhouse.
But the Irish dominated….yet again.