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By Damian Browne | Thursday, October 22, 2020

What a great win that was by Classique Legend in The Everest.

I have been on about him for some time now. I thought he was the best horse in the race and, in fact, I have thought for a while now that he is the best sprinter in the country and I think he proved that in no uncertain terms on Saturday.

Many of you would have seen the pictures of Classique Legend’s trainer Les Bridge standing watching the race all alone by the parade ring.

It is quite amazing how many trainers like to do that for big races … but you can understand why because it would be hard to concentrate on the race when you’ve got your excited owners or even other hangers-on crowded around you when you want to watch what’s going on.

It is just unfortunate that we are now going to lose Classique Legend to Hong Kong … especially as, being a gelding, it would have been nice to see him race on here but, hopefully, if all things go well, he can come back again next year.

With the best horse winning the race I don’t think you can label any horse as a disappointment. I know there were punters who stuck firm with Nature Strip but he was soundly beaten twice before coming into the race, so I don’t think the word disappointment applies.

Not to sound too discouraging, but I’ve never rated Nature Strip as highly as some people have. There is no doubt he is a very good sprinter but, for mine, he has been disappointing too often. He can certainly put in a terrific run, but I personally think he has trouble holding his highest level of form.

He will win another Group 1 … but what I’m saying is I don’t think he is going to win them in a row whereas a horse like Classique Legend could probably score a sequence of consecutive wins.

The has been some talk about Rachel King’s tearaway ride on Eduardo.

Some have compared her ride, and the steward’s response to it, to the ride of Hugh Bowman on Farnan in the Run To The Rose and the steward’s response to that ride where they handing out of a suspension).

It is difficult to comment from a distance. I don’t know what the riding instructions were, and I couldn’t really say whether anything would have been different in the aftermath if King had been on a $2 favourite like Farnan was.

It would have been interesting if that was the case … but it wasn’t, and nobody would have beaten the winner anyway.

The Caulfield Cup also turned on a great spectacle.

There was plenty to get your attention in the finish apart from great efforts of Verry Elleegant and Anthony Van Dyck who finished first and second respectively.

I can’t take anything away from Verry Elleegant and Anthony Van Dyck. They were terrific but Anthony Van Dyck is going to have to carry a big weight and the mare will have to set a weight carrying record for a mare since Makybe Diva.

Statistics give reason to suggest they may struggle in the Melbourne Cup.

I certainly wouldn’t write them off because they are both very, very good horses, but I thought the run of the race came from Prince Of Arran. His closing sectionals would have been the best of the race. We know he runs two miles, having been placed in the last two Cups … so, he would be my early tip for the Cup.

Finch … I have always thought is better at Flemington. I’m sure he will also run well in the Cup … so, yeah, Prince Of Arran and Finch are the two I will be looking forward to seeing on Melbourne Cup day.

I think the better form of horses coming into the Melbourne Cup is going to stack up well and those who showed up well in the Caulfield Cup will be the main contenders in the Melbourne Cup.

Before that comes about though, the one hundredth running of the Cox Plate will be decided on Saturday.

I have been a Probabeel fan for some time now. This prep she has been quite outstanding.

If there is a query, she has not run at Moonee Valley before … and that may be the only query, She is drawn well. I think she will get a good run and Kerrin McEvoy might be up for another decent payday.

If he does get up it will be a very big day for Kerrin. I think this is the one that he wants to win the most because it would put him in the Grand Slam Club of riders who have won the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup, The Golden Slipper … and, if he can get there, the Cox Plate.

I know he will dearly love to win this one and, in the type of form he is in, it will take a brave man to bet against him!

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Damian Browne
Damian Browne
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best