The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Australia’s leading lady of racing, Gai Waterhouse, has confirmed plans to head to Flemington on the first Tuesday of November for the 2023 Melbourne Cup with the stable’s impressive Herbert Power Stakes winner.
The ‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira, who has the mount on the Golden Rose winner and race favourite Militarize for the Waller stable in the Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) later on the card, got his day underway with a terrific victory aboard the Waterhouse/Bott-trained stayer.
Racing into the breeze at Caulfield today in the Group 2 $300,000 Neds Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), the Brazilian hoop was able to duck in and find cover before coming around them out wide on the turn for home.
From there Military Mission ($8) ran on well down the outside, hitting the front at the 200m and drawing away to defeat the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained import United Nation ($6) by three-quarters of a length on the line.
The Patrick F Ryan Junior-trained Ferago ($61), a seven-year-old son of Waterhouse’s 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, came with a big late run to snare third and complete the Herbert Power Stakes trifecta.
“Isn’t he just music to your ears?” Waterhouse said of Moreira when speaking to the media post-win.
“He was able to get cover. It was a bit of a muddling run race, but he didn’t panic.”
It was a tough watch for favourite backers with the Danny O’Brien-trained Carini getting dragged back around the turn, losing momentum and failing to finish off strongly after getting a charmed early run box seating in third.
The Adelaide Cup winner Rebel Racer had led the field around left alone in front, but was gone a long way from home eventually finishing well back.
Mastercraftsman gelding Military Mission has been in terrific form this preparation.
Two back he set a new track record winning the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) in a slick 2 minutes 22.40 seconds.
He then raced a gallant fourth when luckless not to finish in the money behind his spruik stablemate, the fellow Melbourne Cup-bound Just Fine, in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) on Epsom Day at Randwick.
“He was an absolute moral not to run second (in The Metropolitan),” said of Military Mission.
“He just keeps coming and coming at the end.”
The six-year-old became the first horse since Unsolved in 1995 to come via The Metropolitan in Sydney and win the Herbert Power Stakes.
The Herbert Power Stakes winner is exempt from ballot for the Group 1 $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Military Mission however is not nominated for next weekend’s major and instead will head straight to headquarters on November 7 for the Group 1 $8.41 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“Absolutely!” Waterhouse said of a Melbourne Cup mission for the horse.
“We’ve got one (with Fiorente) and it would be lovely to have a second.
“This is a really good little horse.”
Military Mission was 34th on the 2023 Melbourne Cup order of entry with 50.5kg before his Herbert Power success.
Rogan Josh (1999) was the last horse to complete the Herbert Power Stakes – Melbourne Cup double.
Melbourne Cup second declarations close next Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at midday local time.
2023 Herbert Power Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||4||MILITARY MISSION (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joao Moreira||9||57kg||$8|
|2||9||UNITED NATIONS (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Dean Yendall||0.75L||5||53kg||$6|
|3||10||FERAGO||Patrick F Ryan Jnr||Harry Grace||1.75L||2||53kg||$61|
|4||1||DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Blake Shinn||2.15L||4||58kg||$9|
|5||8||CARINI (FR)||Danny O’Brien||Michael Dee||3.65L||1||53kg||$2.40F|
|6||5||MOUNT POPA (IRE)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Damien Oliver||3.75L||7||56.5kg||$31|
|7||7||BRAYDEN STAR (GB)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Daniel Moor||3.85L||6||53kg||$3.90|
|8||6||REBEL RACER||Amy & Ash Yargi||Craig Newitt||5.35L||3||53.5kg||$41|
|9||2||REGAL POWER||John Leek (Jnr)||Arron Lynch||6.35L||8||58kg||$21|
|3||KALAPOUR (IRE)||Kris Lees||Tim Clark||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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