Adelaide became the first European-trained horse to win the 2014 Cox Plate after sustaining a long sweeping run from the 1000 metre mark in the Group 1 event at Moonee Valley this afternoon.
Many racing experts predicted that Adelaide would take up a forward position in the early stages of the Cox Plate, but jockey Ryan Moore elected to settle the Galileo entire at the tail of the field in the first 600 metres.
The Cleaner was forced to work hard to get across and take up the running as Wandjina, Almalad and Side Glance attempted to hold the lead in the early stages of the race and the hot tempo played into the hands of Adelaide.
Moore asked Adelaide for an extra effort at the 1000 metre mark and the Northern Hemisphere three-year-old swept right around the outside of the field and kept making up ground five or six wide around the final bend.
Adelaide somehow managed to sustain his run and he hit the front at the 150 metre mark to record a memorable win from a gallant Fawkner and an impressive Silent Achiever in near track record time.
Moore said that he felt coming around the back straight that he needed to have Adelaide closer to the leaders and he admits that he set the entire a tough challenge, but he remained confident that Adelaide would be good to overcome the difficult assignment and win the Cox Plate.
“He is a very good horse because he stepped out slowly while they went slow early on,” Moore said.
“I was a long way back and I just thought down the back that I had to creep closer.
“He was giving away a bit of ground, but she was creeping and we got onto the back of the filly and I thought she might bring me a bit further, but she stopped.
“I got onto the back of Fawkner and he brought me into it.
“He is a very good horse because he has done it the hard way.
“Usually the best horses wins and sometimes they have to do it a bit tougher.
“Things were against him, but he still got the job done.”
The Cox Plate was put on the agenda for Adelaide after a half share in the entire was purchased by a group of Australian-based connections including the Ingham family and John Ingham was delighted that the decision to buy into the talented galloper had paid off.
“This is a real pinnacle,” Ingham said.
“Tom (Magnier) and a few friends of ours had talked about looking for a horse to bring to Australia and we were initially looking for a Melbourne Cup horse, but he won the Group 1 in Chicago so we changed our sights to the Cox Plate and here we are today.”
Fawkner started the 2014 Cox Plate as favourite and he gave punters a scare when he stumbled out of the barriers, but was still able to recover and run a gallant second behind Adelaide.
Co-owner Nick Williams made no excuses for Fawkner and said that the Reset gelding was beaten by a better horse on the day, while he revealed that the Macedon Lodge team would let the dust settle before deciding whether to press on to the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) with the veteran gelding.
“Nick said that the horse stumbled coming out of the barriers and obviously gave him a scare, but that was no excuse for the horse,” Williams said.
“He ran to his absolute best and was beaten by a better one on the day.
“It is never good to be beaten, but it is nice to be beaten by some good friends and I am glad they have done well.
“We will just see how he pulls up and take it from there.”
Adelaide is set to remain in Australia and will be join the Chris Waller stable; with the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) set to be the major target for the Cox Plate winner during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.