Fittingly, a veritable war horse who has campaigned in France has prevailed in the Anzac Appeal Cup at Randwick.
Nine-year-old Slow Pace belied his name to record just the sixth win of a 46-race career that started with victory at Fontainebleau in 2011.
Since then he has also raced in the United States, England and finally Australia where trainer Kris Lees inherited the durable performer in 2013.
Slow Pace, with apprentice Rachel King wearing the Anzac silks reserved for the No.1 saddlecloth on Tuesday, outlasted his rivals over the 2000 metres to score by a long neck.
The veteran took the lead on the home turn and had enough in reserve to deny the Chris Waller-trained Life Less Ordinary ($3) with Kiseki Dane ($16) another 1-3/4 lengths third.
“Three starts ago we got beaten 3.25 lengths by It’s Somewhat (in the Group Two Ajax Stakes on March 11). That’s good enough form for this race,” Lees’ foreman Cameren Swan said.
“He’s had two wins for us now. He’s won the Wyong Cup. He’s great to do anything with.”
King said Slow Pace was strong to the line.
“He’d have gone around again if I’d let him, ” she said.
At the other end of the age scale, two-year-old Pierata has staked his claims for a start in the Queensland Sires’ Produce Stakes next month with his win in the Light Horse Brigade Plate (1200m) for colts and geldings.
“I caught him over my left shoulder at the Magic Millions and I had to have him,” Hickman said after Pierata beat Hong Qigong by a short half head.
“Wait till you see when he grows up, he’ll be even better. I’d like to go to the Queensland Sires’ and then put him in the paddock.”
The Waller-trained High Low Bet made a winning debut in the fillies division for two-year-olds, the Passchendaele Plate.
Ridden by Brenton Avdulla, High Low Bet ($14) came down the outside to pip rails-runner Fifth Affair ($20) by a short half head.
“It was a gutsy effort. She’s got a pretty bright future,” Waller said.
Waller also prepared Yeah Bravo for his maiden win in the Brigadier William Grant Handicap (1400m) for three-year-old colts and geldings.
Yeah Bravo ($4.40) headed Lucky Tiger ($5.50) by 1-1/2 lengths in a confidence-boosting effort after he recorded minor placings in two of his four previous starts.