Rejuvenated stayer Precedence had to survive a protest before being awarded the Group 3 $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington today.
Ryan Maloney on the runner-up Sertorius fired in an objection against Craig Williams and Precedence after the two horses bumped slightly over the final fifty metres.
With only a short half head separating the pair on the line, Maloney thought he had a good chance of reversing the photo result but his objection was dismissed.
Eight year old Precedence is racing in the best form of his long career and made it two wins from his last two starts after taking out the Group 2 $250,000 Drake International Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley two weeks ago.
The colours of Dato Tan Chin Nam , Black And White Checks, Yellow Sleeves, Black And White Checks Cap, carried by Precedence have made regular visits to the winner’s stall during many previous Melbourne Cup Carnivals including several wins in the Melbourne Cup under the care of Cups King Bart Cummings, his latest with Viewed in 2008.
These days Bart has joined forces with his grandson James in a training partnership that will carry on the Cummings tradition well into the future.
As well as picking up the winner’s cheque of $180,000, the connections of Precedence also collect a $100,000 bonus that the Victoria Racing Cub had offered for the winner of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes if that runner had been a final acceptor but missed a run in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington last Tuesday.
Bart Cummings will turn eighty-six next week and James said that he was in good health although he was a bit disappointed that Precedence came so close to gaining a start in the Melbourne Cup only to miss out.
“He is really good, actually. He enjoyed his trip to Melbourne. He was a bit disappointed that the horse never got in the Melbourne Cup, but it is a good consolation here with the bonus,” James Cummings said.
Williams rode a positive race on Precedence ($6.50) and had him in the first four for the majority of the race before making his move at the 400m and then fought hard to the line before getting the nod in at the right time to beat Sertorius ($4.20 favourite) by a short half head with Let’s Make Adeal ($8) just over two lengths away in third spot.