Saturday, 24 May 2008
: Apache Cat
etched his name into the history books alongside the legendary Tulloch when he claimed his fifth consecutive Group One victory in the Doomben 10,000.Apache Cat
matched Tulloch's record set more than 50 years ago when he destroyed his 10,000 rivals with a 4-3/4 length cakewalk over Sydney colt Murtajill with Turffontein a further half-length away third in the 1350-metre feature.
Since the Group and Listed race classification system was introduced in 1978, many champions have won four Group One races in succession including Kingston Town, Northerly, Octagonal and Sunline as well as Weekend Hussler, but none have managed five.
The late Tommy Smith's champion Tulloch was the last to win five majors in succession when he claimed the Rosehill Guineas, AJC Derby, Caulfield Guineas, Caulfield Cup and Victoria Derby in his magical three-year-old season in 1957.
The all-time record rests with the mighty Bernborough who won the equivalent of seven Group One races in succession in 1946.
The baldy-faced chestnut's victory on Saturday also put jockey Corey Brown in the box seat to sew up the title of leading Group One jockey for the season by collecting his seventh win at the elite level this term - five of them on Apache Cat
- and 26 Group Ones during his career.
Brown went into the 10,000 level with Brad Rawiller on six Group One victories, all of Rawiller's aboard Weekend Hussler who is now in a battle for Horse of the Year honours with Apache Cat
following his Doomben 10,000 success.
Brown, who was sacked as Lee Freedman's stable rider in the early autumn, rated Apache Cat
's win as the best victory of his career.
"That was his best win. He was never going to lose," Brown told winning trainer Greg Eurell.
After a week of controversy surrounding Apache Cat
's health, Eurell declared the five-year-old would definitely miss the Group One Stradbroke Hcp (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
"He won't run in the Stradbroke. You can go to the well too often but I will spell him here in Queensland for six weeks before getting him ready for the spring in Melbourne," Eurell said.
"He'll have two runs in the spring including the Age Classic down the straight six and then we'll take him overseas for the Hong Kong Sprint."
The Group One Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) will be run at Sha Tin in December.
"After Hong Kong there's a genuine chance he may go to Europe next year especially after what we've seen what Takeover Target does internationally," he said.
Eurell said he was surprised how easily Apache Cat
travelled in the run before taking his prizemoney past $3.3 million.
"He was simply awesome. It's unbelievable," Eurell said.
"It's been a big job to keep him up for so long but he's done a terrific job."
Murtajill's trainer Tim Martin had no excuses for the colt's defeat but is looking forward to the Stradbroke in two weeks.
"The winner was just too good. We drop five kilos in the Stradbroke and I think he's looking for 1400 metres," Martin said.
Rawiller was surprised with the finishing burst from Turffontein.
"He went terrific and his last sectional was amazing," Rawiller said.