The feature race at Moonee Valley Saturday, Gr.1 W.S. Cox Plate, fell to the Irish-bred and Aidan O’Brien-trained Adelaide (Galileo), who became the first European horse to land this famous race.
Adelaide was ridden brilliantly by Ryan Moore, settling initially at the tail of the field before sweeping around them to zoom home and win the 2040m weight-for-age championship by a short neck over the race favourite Fawkner (Reset). The time of 2:03.76 was only a slightly outside Might and Power's record.
O'Brien was not in Melbourne to witness the win, but Coolmore Australia's Tom Magnier said he would be delighted at the victory. "To Aidan O'Brien and all the team at Ballydoyle, I'm thrilled for them. I'm sure Aidan would be really enjoying this one."
Adelaide is likely to do his future racing in Australia next year for new trainer Chris Waller, who has a horse to go on with that looks a perfect candidate for the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the autumn.
"He did it the hard way, but he's a high-quality colt and I believed that if he brought his best form, he was probably the best horse in the race," said winning rider Ryan Moore said. "He's had to go around the whole field and come from last. But he still won. It's a lovely race to win."
The Galileo colt has been a global traveller this year during his Northern Hemisphere three year-old season. A winner on his debut at Leopardstown virtually to the day last year, he has had a busy twelve months since then.
He has raced in France, Ireland, the UK and then on to North America for a two-start campaign, which saw him finish second in the Gr.1 Belmont Derby and win the Gr.1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington. Third on his next run in the Gr.2 Prix Niel in September, he moved on to Melbourne, culminating in his victory yesterday.
With four wins and four placings from just eight starts, Adelaide is the best offspring out of the former brilliant Gr.2 Queen Mary Stakes winner Elletelle, a daughter of the recently retired Elnadim and a half-sister to the triple Listed winner Freedom (Second Empire), from the family
of the triple Group winner and Champion sire Elegant Air (Shirley Heights).
Extract from European Bloodstock News/The Australian (p)