Yesterday's 150th running of the Group 1 $6 million Melbourne Cup proven yet again that 'the race that stops two nations' is one of the toughest staying contests in the world.
New Zealand Bloodstock graduates Maluckyday (Zabeel x Natalie Wood) and So You Think (High Chaparral x Triassic) ran strong races and lost no admirers with their performances.
Maluckyday produced a brilliant run for second place in only his ninth race day appearance and has shown that he will be an excellent prospect for the staying races in Sydney next year, and of course, the 2011 Melbourne Cup.
Jockey Luke Nolen declared after the race, "You'll probably see this horse winning it next year".
Maluckyday has more than justified his purchase price of $625,000 when bought by Hawkes Racing from the 2008 Karaka Premier Yearling Sale. He has now won connections over $1.17 million and there looks to be further spoils on the horizon.
A half-brother to Maluckyday by Darci Brahma has been nominated for the 2011 Karaka Yearling Sales Series which is shaping up as a very strong sale.
The Bart Cummings trained So You Think was gallant in third place. Jockey Steven Arnold put him in a good spot in the straight but the 3200 metres proved his undoing. He was stirred up in the early stages of the race and only really managed to settle around the halfway mark. Clearly disappointed, Arnold was still proud of the champ.
"I thought he did a mighty job. They just stop-started a little bit in the run which didn't help us and he travelled a bit strong through the first half.
"He tracked nicely into the race on the corner but the winner was too strong.
"Turning in I thought I had it. I let go but he compounded the last furlong. He'd just had enough. I wouldn't take anything from the winner."
So You think has now earned connections over $5.6 million in stakes from only 12 starts. That puts him in ninth position on the prestigious list of record Australian stakes earners above Takeover Target, Grand Armee and Might and Power.
To put this achievement into perspective, the average race day appearances the horses on the all time great earners list made, which includes the mighty Sunline, Makybe Diva and Octagonal, is 37 starts. Of the nine horses above him, Elvstroem is the horse to have least amount of race day starts with 32 appearances for $5.7 million in stakes earnings.
DGR Thoroughbred Services would have never imagined that their last bid at the 2008 Karaka Premier Yearling Sale for only $110,000 would have yielded such amazing success.
The 2011 Karaka National Yearling Sale Series will be held at New Zealand Bloodstock's Karaka sale complex on 31 January to 7 February. Catalogues will be available from 26 November.