Awesome Rock has claimed his maiden Group One victory in the Emirates Stakes.
Despite wild celebrations in the mounting yard after the win of Awesome Rock in the Emirates Stakes, connections were keeping an ear out for the warning siren.
There was no loud wailing after Saturday’s Flemington 2000m contest giving Awesome Rock and his co-trainer Troy Corstens their first Group One win.
Awesome Rock was first past the post in the Group One Australian Cup at Flemington in March, only to have the race taken off him in the stewards room.
Ridden by Stephen Baster, Awesome Rock ($18) scored a three-quarter length victory over dead-heaters Hauraki ($9.50) and Seaburge ($17).
“He’s such a beautiful animal,” Corstens said.
“When we lost the Australian Cup on protest we were desperate to get the Group One he deserves.
“And the horse has been spot on over the past two weeks since the Cox Plate.
Awesome Rock wasn’t suited by the wet track when fifth behind champion mare Winx in Cox Plate but the Corstens team knew the firm ground would help the five-year-old on Saturday.
“Sit back and watch Stephen Baster’s ride. It was amazing to watch,” Corstens said.
“He kept him out of the wind as long as he could.”
For Baster it was his 13th win at the highest level and his first since Ferlax won the Australian Guineas at Flemington in 2013.
Baster said he didn’t know what to expect driving to Flemington on Saturday, but knew the rain had to stay away.
He knew he was riding a fit horse which can sprint on a firm track.
“You didn’t get to see that with Winx in the race on the wet track at Moonee Valley,” he said.
The win was compensation for Baster losing the Australian Cup and he said he got extra satisfaction from having wife Melissa and two young children Izzy and Penny in attendance.
But he got an extra kick out of providing Troy Corstens with his first Group One win.
“”We’ve been mates for a long time,” the 41 year-old said.
“When I came out of my time Troy and I would drive over to Adelaide together on a Friday night for the races on a Saturday and then drive home again.
“To find out that was his first Group One as a trainer, it’s extra special.”
James McDonald on Hauraki said his charge had run “beautifully” while Dean Yendall aboard Seaburge described the three-year-old’s effort as “awesome”.
Oliver said Vadamos, who ran fourth at $5.50, ran well after leading.
“It’s very difficult for the leaders today,” Oliver said.