Saturday marked the end of Sydney’s annual autumn party, but it was a star Melbournian who gatecrashed Randwick and took home the lion’s share of the prizes.
Gun Melbourne trainer Peter Moody took three runners to Sydney for the day and got maximum return, taking out both Group 1 contests as well as the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate with favorite Hi World.
Everything went exactly to script for the impressive Hi World, with Kerrin McEvoy pushing the colt forward early, and seeing off every challenge with ease to hit the line comfortably by a length and a half.
Local residents Wine Tales and Merion, for Chris Waller and Michael Maroney respectively, put in impressive runs from the rear of the quality field to round out the places, but Moody’s runner never looked like being headed.
Another hot favorite was next up for Moody – and it was a case of different method, same result as the strongly fancied Pasadena Girl put in a super finish to take out the Group 1 Champagne Stakes.
The two year olds barreled out of the gates and put on a strong pace early led by Tommy Berry on The Barrister, whilst Hugh Bowman bided his time on Pasadena Girl and tucked in with the field. Street Rapper for Gai Waterhouse looked very strong down the straight, before Bowman asked a timely question of his mount and got an emphatic answer, exploding down the outside to hit the line half a length in front.
But the best was yet to come for Moody, as an all-star field assembled for the Group 1 All Aged Stakes, led by favorite Chautauqua, Terravista and Australian Guineas winner Wandjina.
The event played out a virtual match race contested by two of Australia’s premier trainers in Moody and Waterhouse, two of the finest jockeys in Jim Cassidy and Damian Oliver, and their prized charges Dissident and Wandjina.
It was Dissident’s final run before retirement, with connections looking to cap a stellar career with one last Group 1 win before sending their champion to stud.
The two were the first out of the gates and found the front of the field together, before reengaging up the Randwick rise and contesting a classic stride-for-stride sprint to the line, with Dissident responding to repeated challenges to edge his rival past the post.
Favorite Chautauqua ran on to finish third, and Lucky Hussler for Darren Weir put in a spirited run, but neither could match the toughness of the two leaders, who themselves could only be separated by a head.
Dissident capped a stunning final year with his fourth Group 1 victory for the season, following wins in the Memsie Stakes and Maybe Diva Stakes in the spring, and CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield in February.
“He is just such a great fighter and doesn’t give in. That showed what a great horse he is there. He was there for all them to run down and they couldn’t do it,” Moody said.
“I’ve had the pleasure of retiring three group 1 winners at the top in Typhoon Tracy, Black Caviar and Dissident. The first two were horse of the year winners. This bloke has put his hand up to be number three.”