The Sydney autumn carnival may have ended a week later than planned, but the final meeting brought a fitting result.
After the first running of the Sydney Cup was declared a no-race on April 8, the 3200m-staying feature was re-run on Saturday with Polarisation a popular and deserved winner.
The English stayer gave Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby a first Group One win in Australia, having done it the hard way.
Polarisation was one of six horses to finish the first running of the race with his jockey Corey Brown unaware it had been called off.
“He deserves it. He gave 110 per cent two weeks ago. He gave 120 per cent today,” Appleby’s assistant James Ferguson said after the win.
“It’s just made it all worthwhile.”
Group One racing started with the Chipping Norton Stakes which was almost without its star attraction – Winx.
The heavy track played on trainer Chris Waller’s mind and he was hesitant about running the champion until reassured the testing ground was safe.
But there is a reason Winx is rated the best horse on turf in the world and it seems it doesn’t matter what state the turf is in.
She handled the wet conditions with aplomb and was even better the next time on similar ground in the George Ryder Stakes.
Her third Group One win for the campaign came on a slightly better surface in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in which she extended her winning sequence to 17.
While backing Winx is as safe a bet as any, Chautauqua has been a different story.
But the world’s best sprinter saved his best for last when he lined up in the TJ Smith Stakes and defied the perceived track bias to win the race for an unprecedented third time.
Caulfield Cup winner Jameka dominated the weight-for- age BMW while the New Zealand three-year-olds proved a cut above in the Classic staying features.
New Zealand Derby winner Gingernuts claimed the Rosehill Guineas while veteran trainer Murray Baker, now in partnership with Andrew Forsman, brought up a rare double with Jon Snow winning the Australian Derby and Bonneval the Australian Oaks.
The younger brigade produced a fairytale for She Will Reign’s large band of owners when the filly won the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the Golden Slipper.
Bought for $20,000 and subsequently syndicated, the prophetically named She Will Reign has now won more than $2.5 million.
It just remains to be seen now whether she and some of the other Group One winners can translate their success to the spring but most eyes will again be on Winx as she heads to a record-equalling third Cox Plate.