A well-timed ride from Damien Oliver saw Superstorm over the line in Saturday’s Group 1 Kennedy Cantala over the mile at Flemington.
In what was arguably the most exciting finish of the day, the gelding by Sebring produced an enormous finish to win a photo by nothing more than a head-bob over Icebath and a very brave Cascadian.
The Danny O’Brien-trained five-year-old was having his fifth run back and always appeared a much stronger hope than the $8.00 quote suggested.
Superstorm won the Feehan Stakes over the mile at The Valley three runs back, before finishing third in both the Group 1 Underwood Stakes and the Toorak Handicap.
Fitter for recent runs, barrier 14 was the only knock on the promising galloper, but it proved to be a god send for Oliver as the pair chose to get back and run on.
O’Brien said after the race that the stable did toy with the idea of running in last week’s Ladbrokes Cox Plate, but that a fast-run mile at Flemington always appealed a little more.
“We tossed up about running him in the Cox Plate, but we were really keen to see him at Flemington and a really high-pressure mile was the perfect set up for him,” O’Brien told Racing.com.
Superstorm stamped himself as a horse to watch this time last year when he won his maiden at Ascot by a big margin in his third career start.
HE went on to finish only two lengths fourth to Kay Cee in the Group 1 Kingston Town, before winning a black-type race back at Ascot first-up prior to his journey to Melbourne.
“He’s a really nice horse that’s raced at the top level his whole career, so it’s great for him to get a big Group 1, particularly on Derby Day,” O’Brien said.
Doncaster Mile winner Cascadian was incredibly unlucky not to add a second Group 1 to his resume, while Icebath lost no admirers on the quick backup following his win in the $2 million The Invitation at Randwick last week.
The 2021 Kennedy Cantala finishing order, courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au, is available here.