Precedence did not deliver Bart Cummings a 13th Melbourne Cup victory, but the veteran stayer was still able to record a personal best result when sixth in the 2014 edition of the race this afternoon.
Precedence was far from disgraced in his three previous tilts in the Melbourne Cup, finishing eighth in 2010, 11th in 2011 and ninth in 2012 before missing the race last year, but his form heading into this year’s race had not been particularly strong and he started the race at lengthy odds.
The Zabeel gelding jumped from towards the outside of the Melbourne Cup field and jockey Michael Rodd elected to settle the nine-year-old towards the tail of the field on the rails in the early stages of the race.
Precedence was still at the tail of the field coming around the turn and Rodd managed to get on the back of Araldo in the straight; with the High Chaparral entire dragging Precedence into the race.
The veteran stayer still had plenty of work to do at the 200 metre mark, but he absolutely flew home in the final 150 metres to finish sixth and earn another sizeable cheque for connections, which includes four-time Melbourne Cup winning owner Dato’ Tan Chin Nam and leading New Zealand breeder Sir Patrick Hogan.
Rodd was riding Precedence for the first time since he finished a disappointing tenth in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley in 2012 and the leading jockey was thrilled with the performance of the tough galloper.
“He ran amazing,” Rodd said.
“He got a great run into race and ran out of his skin.”
Precedence has recorded 10 wins from 64 race starts since making his racing debut at Canterbury in 2008 and has now accumulated almost $2 million in prizemoney for connections.
The lightly-raced Protectionist may have taken out the Melbourne Cup as a Northern Hemisphere four-year-old, but the older horses in the race were far from disgraced; with fellow four-time Melbourne Cup runner Red Cadeaux finishing second, veteran Godolphin stayer Willing Foe finishing fifth and Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock-owned Seismos sneaking into the top ten in ninth place.
Team Cummings has not revealed any future plans for Precedence, but were thrilled with the effort of the popular stayer even though he was unable to join Light Fingers (1965), Galilee (1966), Think Big (1974 and 1975), Gold and Black (1977), Hyperno (1979), Kingston Rule (1990), Let’s Elope (1991), Saintly (1996), Rogan Josh (1999) and Viewed (2008) as Cummings-trained winners of the Melbourne Cup.