As the curtain comes down on another sensational racing season, we look back on the moments that got punters’ hearts pumping and those that will remain in the memory bank for years.
As the racing landscape changes each year with new initiatives, prizemoney increases, and radical program changes, one thing remains constant; there is no other tradition on the planet like the sport of kings!
Melbourne cup - gold trip
Despite having only recorded one victory entering the race that stops the nation, the often bridesmaid Gold Trip produced a stunning win on the biggest stage. He arguably should have won the Caulfield Cup, and with the whole world watching on our famous Tuesday in November, he left his rivals for dead at the 300m mark.
The former international, who started the race at 20-1, was asked to carry the grandstand to victory. He carried the highest allocated weight to victory since Makybe Diva in 2005.
The 162nd edition of our famous race looked like it was heading overseas when favourite Deauville Legend looked poised to strike as they entered the home straight. The lightly-raced three-year-old faded to finish fourth, while Geelong Cup winner Emissary emerged out of the pack to challenge for victory. One of the clear outsiders, High Emocean, finished strongly to round out the placings.
Despite looking like a sitting duck at the clock tower, Gold Trip showed resilience with the significant weight, swooshed his tail when the petrol tank was on empty, and held on for a life-changing victory.
It was a career-defining moment for trainer Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, and it was relief and joy for jockey Mark Zahra who has the habit of filling the minor end of the prize in our racing majors.
Gold Trip adds another perfect chapter to the history of our great race.
caulfield stakes - anamoe
There was a significant build-up to this event, and the hype was exceeded by the length of the Caulfield home straight.
Regular rivals Anamoe, I’m Thuderstuck, Zaaki, Mr Birghside, and Alligator Blood locked horns, which wasn’t unusual; however, the race itself, especially the concluding stages, was extraordinary.
Anamoe handled the final corner entering the home straight like a wobbly shopping trolley, and his rivals took full advantage. This Group 1 event was unique because they all looked like the winner in the final furlong. Anamoe being Anamoe, somehow made up the required five lengths at the death, and he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Champions don’t win by big margins; they simply know where the winning post is. Connections of Anamoe’s rivals would still be shaking their heads and asking how they didn’t enter the winner’s enclosure.
the everest - giga kick
Giga Kick claimed the world’s richest turf race in stunning fashion despite only being in his second preparation.
The rank outsider not only blew his rivals away but lowered the colours of the world champion Nature Strip, who looked destined to go back-to-back.
Giga Kick entered the race undefeated. However, this was a massive leap of faith and an unrealistic prospect amongst most punters and racing pundits.
The largest crowd at Randwick in fifty years was silenced inside the last 100m as Giga Kick swooped past a fading Nature Strip. He held off the challenge of the enigmatic and informed Private Eye to record a famous victory.
For a horse that had survived a near-fatal bout of Colic, for a young trainer Clayton Douglas who was still learning his craft, not to mention the task against the best sprinting lineup assembled for nearly a decade, this was a win for the ages.
There is no ceiling for Giga Kick!
cox plate - anamoe
Redemption was spelt with a capital Anamoe in the 2022 edition of the W.S. Cox Plate. After losing the race on protest in controversial circumstances the previous year, Anamoe started a short-priced favourite, and after a perfect spring campaign, it was his race to lose.
Despite the addition of some world-class opponents to the line-up, the confidence was high from the camp, and the flood of money continued for James Cummings, trained star.
After a faultless ride from the ‘super freak’ James McDonald, the race played out perfectly. When the big boy was presented to the middle of the track just before the home straight, he circled the leaders and had one hoof on the plate.
A late charge to the line by the fast finishing I’m Thunderstruck wasn’t enough to stop destiny for the ‘Big A’.
It was racing karma at the highest order, propelling Anamoe into racing immortality. He became the winningest Group 1 Godolphin horse of all time.
Thank you, Anamoe!
golden eagle - i wish i win
The rise and fall of Peter Moody was public. To have him back in our sport after a long-imposed suspension is sensational. To see him winning on the biggest stage puts a smile on all racing fans.
The win by I Wish I Win in the $10m event at Rosehill on Saturday not only stamped his return, but he also shared it with his old mate, Black Caviar’s jockey, Luke Nolan.
Nolen was with Black Caviar for 22 of her 25 wins, including two TJ Smith Stakes and her famous victory in front of the Queen at Royal Ascot. He has also been riding for Moody for over 20 years.
I Wish I Win produced a stunning turn of foot to hit the lead inside the final furlong, and the race looked over, or did it?
Fangirl emerged from the pack, attacking I Wish I Win inside the final 100m and nearly stealing the feature in the shadows.
I Wish I Win held on to win by a nose in an incredible edition of the Golden Eagle.
This was a great racing moment, one of pure resilience and persistence.
One for the battlers!