A decision to back up more than paid off for Lindsay Park on Saturday as five-year-old Irish import Fifty Stars won the stable their 10th Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).
A courageous effort after winning the Blamey Stakes last week was required if Fifty Stars was going to add his first Group 1 against a talented field of 14.
Jockey John Allen was tasked with the job from the wide draw, but that proved to be the winning factor down the straight as the pair got over the top of the leading Regal Power.
Fifty Stars was a $7.00 chance on Saturday and could potentially back up again next week in the $5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield.
For the time being though, trainer David Hayes was happy to celebrate another victory in the time-honoured race that he has now won in three consecutive years.
“To win the 10th is just a fantastic effort for everyone for a lot of years – over 50 years – just thrilled,” Hayes told Racing.com.
“I thought the tactics were spot on too, there was a bit of a query about how the track was riding, but all credit to Johnny Allen, he sat on him and produced him late.”
Fifty Stars made history not only for Lindsay Park but also for himself by becoming the first horse since Better Loosen in 1991 to win the Blamey Stakes – Australian Cup double in the same year.
Just like Hayes, Allen was happy to pay full credit to the stable for helping him win his eighth Group 1.
“David Hayes filled me with plenty of confidence going out and they just said ride him with plenty of confidence.
He’s got a good turn of foot and it was messy early when we were caught wide, but when the runner-up popped up he gave us a good cart into the race and it was huge” Allen said.
Backing up in next weeks All-Star Mile would be a big ask for Fifty Stars, who remains a $13.00 shot in the race.
Regal Power, who lost no admirers finishing second on Saturday, also remains a $21 chance.
Last but not least, two-time Australian Cup winner Harlem ran on well for an honourable fourth, while there was no such luck for the Godolphin favourite Avilius after sitting second-last at the final turn.
Ladbrokes’ complete All-Star Mile market can be viewed here.