The Godolphin raider Polarisation and hoop Corey Brown were first past the post in the no-race a fortnight back and finished on top again taking out the 2017 Sydney Cup re-run over the weekend.
The tragic fall of Almoonqith saw the original running of the $2 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) abandoned on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ back on April 8.
Charlie Appleby’s visiting English stayer Polarisation and Brown didn’t pull up during that run, going all the way to “win” the voided event.
Brown didn’t hide his disappointment about the stewards’ decision to call off the original race, but was eventually able to atone and take out the $55,000 winning Sydney Cup jockey’s cheque.
Emulating the same Sydney Cup result at Royal Randwick on Saturday, Brown enjoyed his second official success in the two mile classic after an engaging late battle with Chris Waller’s evergreen veteran Who Shot Thebarman.
In a truly gutsy staying performance Polarisation held off the late challengers all the way down the straight, despite Brown having to shift out late in the run.
Contesting his fourth straight Sydney Cup, New Zealand-bred Yamanin Vital eight-year-old Who Shot Thebarman was also involved in the fall two weeks back.
He bounced back as good as ever however, finishing runner-up in the race for a second time after crossing a nostril flare off his stablemate Grand Marshal in the 2015 edition.
There was nothing between the first two Sydney Cup horses again this season with the gallant Who Shot Thebarman finishing a neck off Polarisation who had the massive weight advantage.
Who Shot Thebarman carted the 57kg top weight, while the visitor was in on just 51.5kg.
Rounding out the Sydney Cup trifecta in a close third was the Darren Weir-trained beaten favourite Big Duke who Singapore-based hoop Glen Boss got over the line only three-quarters off the winner.
Boss replaced the suspended Craig Williams aboard the last start Chairman’s Handicap winner Big Duke who was gallant in defeat.
Fourth went to Stuart Webb’s Adelaide Cup winner Annus Mirabilis who was six lengths off Polarisation, while Appleby’s other runner Penglai Pavilion was seventh after his third in the first running.
Saturday’s race was not void of its own drama with Waller’s runner-up in the race from 2016, Libran, failing to finish.
The success for the UK-based Appleby in this year’s race is expected to see a significant increase to the number of international raiders coming over to Sydney for the autumn carnival riches in coming years.
“I made a point on that very disappointing Saturday two weeks ago to talk to [Godolphin representatives] John Ferguson and Henry Plumptre and said what can we do to keep the two English horses here for the rescheduled Sydney Cup,” Australian Turf Club chairman Laurie Macri said.
“It was a very productive conversation and the bottom line is Polarisation and Penglai Pavilion remained here for the race.
“To have Polarisation win the Sydney Cup was a great result and Godolphin have said they will definitely bring more horses next year.
“We are even talking to them about making improvements to Canterbury so it is a very positive outcome for Sydney racing.”
Polarisation meanwhile could be back down under in the spring for a shot at the iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
If successful he will join Makybe Diva (2004) and Carbine (1890) as the latest two Sydney Cup – Melbourne Cup double winners in the same year.