|Tuesday, 1 May 2012
: Right now Australian racing is blessed to have two champion mares Black Caviar and More Joyous plus an outstanding three-year-old filly in Atlantic Jewel, but unfortunately for all three, they are all racing in the same era.
| More Joyous races clear in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes|
Photo by Racing and Sports
There is little doubt that at any other time in Australian racing, More Joyous
would have been acclaimed a champion in her own right, such as Sunline and Makybe Diva were during their racetrack careers.
It is unfortunate that she has had to share the limelight with first Black Caviar and now Atlantic Jewel but that should in no way detract from her outstanding achievements.
History shows we should embrace all three, as thoroughbreds of their calibre do not come along that often in Australia.
Like Peter Moody with Black Caviar
, Gai Waterhouse deserves great credit for the way she has managed the career of More Joyous.
Never a gross type but always somewhat fragile early in her racing career, not until now as a five-year-old have we seen the fully mature, stronger More Joyous.
Gai has nurtured this mare into the outstanding galloper she is today. A winner of eight group one races, nine group two and two listed races she is now dominating her rivals of both sexes at distances from 1200m to 2000m.
More Joyous came of age last start when she won the G1 Doncaster Handicap, the toughest 1600m race on the Australian racing calendar, under a near record weight of 57.5kgs. Only the great Sunline (2002) has carried a heavier winning weight (0.5kgs) for a mare in the last 50 years.
But then last Saturday at Randwick she took on another challenge, tackling a quality G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field over 2000m that comprised several group one winners of such major races as the Melbourne Cup, Australian Cup, BMW, Epsom Handicap, Doncaster Handicap, NZ Derby and Rosehill Guineas to name a few. In short it was a top class 2000m race.
For some, there were still unanswered questions over her ability to run a strong 2000m after she failed in So You Think
's historic second Cox Plate win in 2010, her only previous attempt at that distance.
Under regular rider Nash Rawiller, More Joyous was forced to take up the role of pacemaker when rival riders handed up the lead. But once into her rhythm, the race was as good as over.
She led comfortably throughout and momentarily faced challenges topping the rise before Rawiller gave her rein, skipping clear in the closing stages to win by over two lengths from the much improved Manighar.
More Joyous was assessed to have run to her Doncaster winning Timeform
mark of 128, a figure held up through the form and ratings profiles of other runners in the race. The figure is just above the mid range of values suggested by the historical race analysis.
It was a most impressive victory and she joined Iko (1980) as the only horses to have won the Doncaster Handicap – Queen Elizabeth Stakes double in the same season and certainly the first mare to achieve the feat, something even the great Sunline could not achieve in 1999.
Gai now joins her late father Tommy Smith as the only trainers to have prepared gallopers to achieve this unique double.
More Joyous became the first mare to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes since Dinky Flyer in 1987 and the fifth mare overall since 1950, joining Lowland (1969), Jandell (1975), My Blue Denim (1981) and Dinky Flyer (1987).
Much debate followed her victory as to whether she would take up an invitation to race at Royal Ascot or be spelled and prepared for the Cox Plate and a possible clash with Atlantic Jewel.
However owner John Singleton prefers the Cox Plate route and he was adamant More Joyous would stick to that agenda.
Historical Timeform Ratings - Australia
2yo's Timeform Ratings
3yo's Timeform Ratings
4yo's Timeform Ratings
5yo+ Timeform Ratings
European Top 10
Timeform Weekly Summary: