OTHER than the win by Wollomai in the 1875 Melbourne Cup, for Captain John Cleeland of Phillip Island, local connections had arguably their biggest victory in horseracing last Saturday when Tosen Stardom won the feature race at Flemington, the $2 million Emirates Stakes.
Tosen Stardom rocketed out of the field with a stirring turn of speed in one of the performances of the spring to claim the prize.
But part owner Terry Ginnane, manager of Landmark in Leongatha, had to admit it didn’t look good most of the way down the famous Flemington straight.
“Darren thought he had a good chance. He said he was much better suited at the distance, the weights, he’d drawn a good barrier and there was more speed in the race. So we were hopeful for sure.
“There was no speed on in the race the previous week and he really didn’t get a crack at them.”
And it looked like another hard-luck story shaping up on Saturday.
“He couldn’t get out and even when he did get out I thought he’d never make up that ground on them but he just flew. It was a huge thrill.
“He’s now won two Group Ones, been second in two and third in another which is more than enough to prove up his breeding. He’s by Deep Impact (Japan) so he’s certainly gone up a notch there as well.
“He probably doesn’t have to do a lot more but he wouldn’t be going to stud in Australia next season so there might be a few more runs in him.”
Terry had the honour, in the absence of another locally connected owner, Mick Johnston, to lead the horse back in to the mounting yard and together with the other owners, trainer Darren Weir and stable staff; celebrated long and hard on Saturday night.
But it was back to reality on Monday.
“We’re in at work today and it’s been pretty busy catching up,” said Terry, as the warm weather sees a boost in cattle numbers.
“It’s looking good out there but a nice shower of rain later in the week would be nice too.”
Going by Terry’s run of luck at the moment, you can probably bet on it!
Tosen Stardom makes history at Flemington