Emirates drama as win amazes trainer
TRIUMPH and tragedy are incongruous stablemates on racecourses and even more so on major days.
The Emirates Stakes, a $2million Group 1 bookend to a fabulous carnival, contrived to deliver both in a bitter-sweet finale to Flemington’s fourth day.
Triumph belonged to the mercurial Tosen Stardom, an enigmatic talent with a huge motor, jockey Damian Lane and trainer Darren Weir.
Tragedy befell Kiwi star Gingernuts and one of the chestnut’s owners after a confronting double pre-race mishap.
Gingernuts went amiss as jockey Michael Dee cantered him to the start. Watching on, one of the horse’s owners fell seriously ill and required immediate medical attention.
A lengthy delay ensued after Dee quickly dismounted as Dr Grace Forbes applied bandages to Gingernuts’ leg as the horse ambulance was summoned.
Gingernuts was loaded on a float and transported to Werribee for emergency care as a shattered Dee struggled to reconcile the incident.
“I definitely felt it happen so straight away I pulled him up and got off him as soon as I could,” he said.
“Not very nice to happen to the horse. Hopefully he comes through it OK.”
The incident and the owner’s illness overshadowed an extraordinary Tosen Stardom victory.
Weir, a man not easily moved to superlatives, was gobsmacked by the import’s second Group 1 success of the spring.
“It was amazing, wasn’t it? That was the real Tosen Stardom,” Weir said of the Toorak Handicap winner.
“He’s had a great week, and it’s a great thrill and great for a horse with such a great pedigree to deliver on the big stage.”
Happy Clapper and It’s Somewhat filled the minor placing ahead of The Taj Mahal and luckless Folkwood.
GREAT WEEK: Damian Lane rides Tosen Stardom to victory in the Emirates Stakes at Flemington yesterday.