There was a big boilover in the Group 1 $1.5 million Australian Cup (2000m) on Super Saturday with two 25/1 shots – Homesman and Best Of Days – battling it out in a thrilling photo finish.
Following a clever ride out three-wide by last year’s Melbourne Cup winning hoop Jye McNeil, the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Homesman had the room he needed to finish off on top in an upset Australian Cup victory at Flemington.
The victory saw the War Front seven-year-old enjoy his first win since the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at The Valley last October.
Steadily building this campaign, it was also an improved effort on his eye-catching third when under a length beaten fresh in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) behind Paradee who ran fourth in the official Australian Cup results.
On that same day the stable celebrated the Group 1 Blue Diamond win with Artorius and it was a wonderful result a fortnight on as they added the Australian Cup trophy to the cabinet.
Having settled around fifth in the run as Steel Prince led the field around, Homesman produced a huge finish pinging back his ears and showing an enormous will to win in the devastatingly close result over the James Cummings-trained Best Of Days.
“It’s a big thrill. A huge team effort,” co-trainer Sam Freedman told Racing Victoria after the race.
“Jye rode him perfectly, a bit of room to move. One thing he’s got is that tenacity and that real will to win.
“We couldn’t quite get that spot in The All-Star Mile, but this is perhaps this was a bit better.”
Adding even further value to this autumn’s Australian Cup trifecta was the run for third by 30/1 shot Chapada.