Fiorente flashed home from the back of the field to record his first victory in Australia in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley today.
Fiorente looked like he was in an impossible position coming around the final turn but he flew home down the outside to catch a brave Spacecraft, who led for the majority of the race, and Peter Moody-trained Lidari on the line.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse has stamped Fiorente her major hope for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and she was clearly delighted that he was able to live up to that billing in his first visit to Moonee Valley.
“Honestly when was he going to win the race, at no stage was he even a 5-1 chance,” Waterhouse said after the race.
“He just absolutely grew muscles and the way that he threw his legs out was just devastating.
“I knew that once he got over the mile he would get into his rhythm and each furlong he just kept picking up.”
Jockey Nash Rawiller gave up an impressive book of rides at Rosehill Gardens to ride Fiorente in Melbourne today and was emotional that his decision had paid off.
Despite the narrow margin, Rawiller said that he was always confident that the son of Monsun was going to win and believes the imported stayer is a leading chance for both the Melbourne Cup (3200m) and the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
“I was confident a long way from home,” Rawiller said.
“I was following Super Cool and we gave them a bit of a start but I was able to balance and come out of the race on the horses terms.
“I took a kinder approach to the horse today and he seemed to thrive on it.
“I’ve probably given up the Golden Rose today and for good reason.”
Australian Cup winner Super Cool started the race as favourite but was under heavy riding from jockey Michael Rodd a long way from home.
He looked as though he was going to tail away but got going again in the final stages of the race to finish fourth, within a length of the winner.
Last year’s winner Happy Trails was sensationally scratched in the lead up to the race after a puncture mark was found on the horse’s neck.
Racing Victoria‘s compliance team provided surveillance video footage that showed a raised lump on the neck of Happy Trails and a trickle of blood that chief vet Brian Stewart said was consistent with race-day treatment.
Trainer Paul Beshara was furious with the decision and has denied the claims.
“The horse has had nothing,” Beshara told the hearing.
“Sir there is no proof of that, just no proof.”