Veteran stayer Precedence narrowly missed out on a start in the 2013 Melbourne Cup but made up for that disappointment with a narrow victory over Sertorius in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington this afternoon.
Precedence won the Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day but did not receive a big enough penalty to sneak into the Melbourne Cup field; with the Cummings training team electing not to run the eight-year-old in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2600m).
Bart and James Cummings were both bitterly disappointed to miss out on having a runner in the Melbourne Cup but James was delighted that the grand old stayer was able to record his fifth victory at Group level and pick up the $100,000 bonus that was on offer for Melbourne Cup acceptors.
“It is a great credit to the stable and it’s a great credit to the philosophy that we have at the stable; we like to keep them up and race them for a long period of time,” Cummings said.
“If you look after them and keep them happy, as Bart always told me, than there is no reason that we can’t achieve that.
Precedence was forced to dig deep to beat Bendigo Cup winner Sertorius in the final stages of the race and Cummings admitted that he was unsure which horse had triumphed in the back and forth fight to the line.
“I have been in this position before and I think that you have always got to way until the judge because he knows best,” Cummings said.
Jockey Craig Williams was riding the son of Zabeel for the second time, after winning the Drake International Cup on the veteran gelding, and said that he was thrilled to win a major race on a Bart Cummings-trained stayer during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“It is fantastic for them and it is great to see Bart Cummings’ colour and Dato’s colours salute over Cup week,” Williams said after the race.
“This horse has gotten older but they have changed the way they are training him and he is racing super.
“It is a credit to Racing Victoria and the way they program everything because there are bonuses for a horse like him that was just so close to getting into the Melbourne Cup.
“They didn’t panic, they didn’t run him on the Saturday to try and get into the race, they just said we are not let’s take the Queen Elizabeth.
“I am delighted.”
The connections of Sertorius lodged a protest after the race; alleging that Precedence shifted in and interfered with Sertorius in the final stages of the race.
Jockey Ryan Maloney made a compelling case for the decision to be overturned but Racing Victoria Chief Steward Terry Bailey ruled that the contact between the horses was not enough to justify upholding the protest.
“The stewards are on the view that near the 100 metre mark both horses do make some contact but the stewards are of the view that this was the result of both horses shifting ground,” Bailey said.
“Then we concentrate over the concluding stages of the race and we are of the view that Sertorius is unimpeded in the run to the line and does not lose any momentum.
“It is a battle between two horses and we are not satisfied that there is enough there to warrant changing the placings.”
The 2013 Spring Racing Carnival is over for another year but there is still plenty of great racing taking place right around Australia.
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2013 Queen Elizabeth Stakes Finishing Order
|1||2||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||Craig Williams||–||8||58kg||$6.50|
|2||4||SERTORIUS||Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington||Ryan Maloney||0.1L||5||55.5kg||$4.20F|
|3||5||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||Nigel Blackiston||Chad Schofield (a)||2.35L||2||55kg||$8|
|4||3||FORGOTTEN VOICE (IRE)||Nicky Henderson||Brett Prebble||2.55L||12||57kg||$9.50|
|5||9||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||4.55L||4||54.5kg||$19|
|6||12||GARUD (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||4.65L||1||54.5kg||$13|
|7||6||MOUDRE||Ciaron Maher||Ms Michelle Payne||4.85L||13||55kg||$31|
|8||14||LA AMISTAD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||5.6L||6||54.5kg||$11|
|9||1||KELINNI (IRE)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||6.85L||9||58kg||$14|
|10||11||VERDANT (GB)||Robert Smerdon||Ben Melham||7.05L||7||54.5kg||$31|
|11||8||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Hugh Bowman||9.3L||10||54.5kg (cd 55kg)||$18|
|12||13||ANGOLA||Pat Carey||James Winks||11.55L||3||54.5kg||$26|
|13||10||ROTHERA||Brian Smith||James McDonald||14.05L||11||54.5kg (cd 55kg)||$20|