Spe­cial race back

Leg­endary horse again cel­e­brated

Seymour Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Gus McCub­bing Star is born: Su­per Im­pose an­nounces him­self as a ma­jor lea­guer in the 1989 Turn­bull Stakes at Flem­ing­ton. Less than two years ear­lier he won his first start at Seymour, an event that will be marked to­mor­row.

Su­per Im­pose, the horse that be­gan its ride into his­tory at Seymour’s race track, is back on the lo­cal agenda.

The Su­per Im­pose Maiden, a spe­cial race at Seymour Rac­ing Club, will be back at to­mor­row’s races af­ter a hia­tus of a few years.

The Lee Freed­man trained Su­per Im­pose was bred and bought in New Zealand for $40 000.

Not raced as a two-year-old, the geld­ing fi­nally made his first race ap­pear­ance here on De­cem­ber 29 in 1987.

By the time he re­tired in 1992 he had won $5.65 mil­lion — a then Aus­tralian prize money record.

Now 30 years later Seymour Rac­ing Club is recog­nis­ing its link with the le­gend by stag­ing a 1200 m race in his hon­our — the same dis­tance Su­per Im­pose raced for his first win.

The to­tal prize money on that day was $3000 and his share was al­most half.

It just about cov­ered petrol and train­ing fees for the week and hardly hinted at what was to come.

Su­per Im­pose won a Cox Plate (as an eight-year-old) as well as the AJC Ep­som and Don­caster Hand­i­caps two years run­ning on his way to eight Group Ones and the Rac­ing Hall of Fame.

Seymour Rac­ing Club com­mit­tee mem­ber Brad Bishop said Su­per Im­pose ought to be re­mem­bered as the best horse to have bro­ken their maiden at Seymour.

‘‘He’s a horse who’s got a bit of a con­nec­tion to coun­try rac­ing, so I think it’s fit­ting that we hon­our him this way, be­cause some good horses have won their maiden at Seymour, but none have gone on to achieve the things Su­per Im­pose did,’’ Bishop said.

He said he thinks pun­ters will re­spond well to this spe­cial event, be­cause Su­per Im­pose’s ex­cit­ing race style earned him a siz­able fol­low­ing dur­ing his ca­reer.

‘’’There’s ba­si­cally two types of cult fig­ures in horse rac­ing — those that shoot out to a big lead early in the race and try to hold on or those that are flash­ing home at the end.

‘‘And Su­per Im­pose had just about more flash home than any other horse.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple re­mem­ber Su­per Im­pose fondly, so they will be happy to see his name in the race book.

“But it’s also an ed­u­ca­tional thing, to let peo­ple know he won his first race at Seymour.

‘‘He ac­tu­ally did a lot of his rac­ing at coun­try tracks — his first two starts were at Seymour, and then he also raced at places such as Gee­long, Co­lac and Be­nalla in the early stages of his ca­reer, be­cause he was a late­bloomer, and had to race his way through the grades.’’

But there was also a slight twist to the Su­per Im­pose tale — his win­ning strat­egy of flash­ing home from the back of the field was only dis­cov­ered by ac­ci­dent, ac­cord­ing to Bishop.

He said in his early stages Su­per Im­pose would race up the front of the field, and then one day at Flem­ing­ton, maybe his first start there, he missed the start, so he was to­wards the back of the field.

‘‘That was the first time he ever flashed home from the back and stormed home over the top of them,’’ Bishop said.

‘‘So that’s when they worked out that might be the best way to ride him.

‘‘It was a bit of an ac­ci­dent that they worked out he was a back­marker, and that’s the way he raced for the rest of his ca­reer — that was the suc­cess­ful recipe in terms of rid­ing tac­tics for him.’’

The Su­per Im­pose Maiden is on the last Seymour Rac­ing Club event for about three months, al­low­ing for track ren­o­va­tions to take place.

❝. . . Su­per Im­pose had just about more flash home than any other horse.❞ Brad Bishop

Pic­ture: Colin Bull

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