The best horse in the race as decided by the handicapper, Japanese raider Admire Rakti carried the 58kg top weight to victory in today’s Caulfield Cup 2014 in Melbourne.
The Tomoyuki Umeda-trained Heart’s Cry seven-year-old debuted down under in the $3 million Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m), the first horse from Japan to race in an Australian major since 2010.
While the better fancied of the accepted Japanese duo, Bande, was scratched on Friday duo to heat in a tendon, Admire Rakti did the country proud becoming the second seven-year-old in three years along with Duanden (2012) to win the world’s richest 2400m handicap.
He also joined a list of talented top weights with 58kg to take out the classic joining the likes of Ming Dynasty (1980), Northerly (2002) and Dunaden (2012).
Admire Rakti ($12) was ridden by one of Australia’s top expat jockeys, Zac Purton having won last year’s Hong Kong premiership, and the pair were tough enough to run down the front runner on the straight Rising Romance ($12), who moved up from her sixth spot with 800m left to travel, for a strong win.
Winner of the ATC Oaks in the autumn, the Donna Logan-trained New Zealand mare Rising Romance had every chance with a lovely run along the rails but couldn’t hold off the international who mowed her down and she finished second best.
Finishing off the Caulfield Cup trifecta in a close third was then the beaten favourite, the Kris Lees-trained Turnbull Stakes winner Lucia Valentina ($4.20) who was brave in defeat today from a wide run flashing home to lose few admirers.
Japan ran one-two in the 2006 Melbourne Cup with Delta Blues and Pop Rock with Admire Rakti looking to become the second Japanese-trained winner of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
He’s also out to secure the Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double achieved before him by greats including Let’s Elope (1991), Doriemus (1995), Might and Power (1997) and most recently Ethereal (2001).
Purton was thrilled with the win and said he rode the horse how he liked to be ridden, and how he was trained to be ridden back home, getting a gun run three wide with cover.
“He was going to be hard to beat today,” Purton said.
“We were three wide with a bit of cover, the Japanese horses love that.
“It’s the way they’re trained, that’s what they’re used to.”
As for the trainer, Mr Umeda told the media through an interpreter that so long as the horse pulled up it would be onto the Melbourne Cup and that he hoped their good luck in Australia so far continued for the first Tuesday of November.
“If everything goes well, hopefully this luck keeps going to the Melbourne Cup,” his translator said.
He also said that if the owners were happy they would be returning with more stayers for another shot at the spring cups in 2015.
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2014 Caulfield Cup Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 9 – 18/10/2014
|1||1||ADMIRE RAKTI (JPN)||Tomoyuki Umeda||Zac Purton||–||7||58kg||$11|
|2||16||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||James McDonald||0.4L||14||53kg||$12|
|3||15||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||0.9L||10||53kg||$4F|
|4||19e||BRAMBLES (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||1.1L||9||53.5kg||$10|
|5||20e||ARALDO (GB)||Michael Moroney||Craig Williams||1.4L||15||53kg||$31|
|6||14||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||2.15L||3||53.5kg||$8.50|
|7||9||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Douglas Whyte||2.25L||12||55.5kg (inc. 1.5kg penalty||$8|
|8||8||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||2.45L||8||55.5kg||$19|
|9||3||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Chad Schofield||2.65L||5||57kg||$41|
|10||17||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Corey Brown||2.75L||17||52kg||$26|
|11||6||THE OFFER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||3.5L||16||56.5kg||$26|
|12||13||STIPULATE (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||3.9L||4||54kg||$21|
|13||11||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||4L||13||55kg (inc. 1.5kg penalty||$11|
|14||10||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Michael Rodd||5L||6||55kg||$26|
|15||7||SEISMOS (IRE)||Marco Botti||Craig Newitt||5.1L||1||56kg||$26|
|16||22e||RENEW (IRE)||Archie Alexander||Regan Bayliss (a)||6.85L||2||52kg||$201|
|17||21e||UNCHAIN MY HEART||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Stephen Baster||8.85L||11||52kg||$151|
|18||4||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Steven Arnold||9.05L||18||57kg||$41|
|–||12||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||–||0||–||–|
|–||2||DANDINO (GB)||Marco Botti||Craig Williams||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||BANDE (IRE)||Yoshito Yahagi||Christophe Lemaire||–||0||–||–|
|–||18||GRIS CARO (GB)||Jake Stephens||Joao Moreira||–||0||–||–|