3 minute read
Obamburumai wins this year’s Golden Eagle at Rosehill on Saturday.
Obamburumai unleashed a furious run for the finish as the Japanese colt became the first non-Australian horse to win the A$10 million James Squire Golden Eagle on Saturday.
In his first overseas start, the 3-year-old raider trained by Keiji Yoshimura wove his way through traffic on the final straight before edging Pericles by the smallest of margins to take home his share of the purse, a cool A$5.25 million.
Naturally, the Obamburumai camp was ecstatic following the triumph at Rosehill Gardens.
"My voice is breaking up. I've been doing some roaring in the last five minutes, I tell you," said jockey Joshua Parr, a last minute fill-in for Yutaka Take who was injured just before his ride in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) last weekend. "What a moment this is in my career, in my life, everything. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to pick up this horse today.
"Obviously the disappointment of Yutaka Take missing out through injury, that doesn't sit right with me. But the fact that I was Johnny on the spot, I got the ride and I produced one of my better ones to get the victory, I'm speechless.
"He is one hell of an animal, isn't he? I actually had a phone call with my mum last night and mum said, 'what can I expect?' I said, 'I'm pretty sure he's the best horse I've sat upon but he's going to need a lot of luck.'
"He got the luck and he showed his ability."
Obamburumai, son of Discreet Cat from Pink Gerbera, was racing for the first time since the Grade 1 NHK Mile Cup in May when he took third. The Golden Eagle was his sixth career start.
For a moment, Parr and his partner looked to be boxed in along the rails as the field of 17 turned for home. But with 300 meters to go, Obamburumai found a sliver of space that he pounced on, dashing for the wire.
Golden Mile was still in front with 50m remaining and appeared to have the race in the bag. Yet Obamburumai, with Pericles to his left, came hard-charging in to swipe the win from the competition.
"He got a good jump out of the gate," Yoshimura said, reflecting on the race. "When he took position a little towards the back, I was a little worried he might be stuck - not that he had issues during the trip.
"But the race opened up on the straight. He had a lot of horse left in him because he came around on the inside and did the business, just in the nick of time. I have nothing but gratitude for Obamburumai; he worked harder than any of us."
Added Parr, "The race went according to plan, which was to mark Hawaii Five Oh from the middle who was going to be near the front. The pace was slower than expected and I knew it would come down to the finish.
"He adjusted well to the pace and felt great which is how we managed to come through. I know how difficult it is to travel from Japan to a race in Australia. I wanted to win for the Japanese horse, for Japan - and I couldn't be happier we got the job done."