Cascadian has handed James McDonald his 10th Group 1 win of the season in the All Aged Stakes (1400m), running down Tofane in the closing stages.
Missing the start from the inside barrier, McDonald had managed to gradually move up to midfield by the top of the straight but was desperately needing a run to open up for the James Cummings-trained galloper.
The Michael Moroney-trained Tofane (+1200) had been travelling three wide in third when she found another gear and looked the winner at the 200m.
But McDonald had meanwhile been able to get out on Cascadian (+1000) and was storming home in hot pursuit, heading her at the 50m and going on for a 0.92-length victory.
Ellsberg who was +1000 with horse racing bookmakers came in 3.29-lengths third for Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou.
The seven-year-old gelding has now taken his earnings to just under $4.5 million.
“It was quite breathtaking really and a special victory for the horse, who has got so much heart.
“We wondered to ourselves do we want to run him in the Australian Cup, do we want to freshen him up for the All Aged or run in the Doncaster,” said Cummings.
“I always think to myself, as (Godolphin form analyst) Dominic (Beirne) has always taught me, running in one doesn’t preclude you from running in the other and I actually think his run in the Doncaster set him up for today.
“He was enormous on that day, but it was something of a barrier trial.
“He freshened up beautifully from then and he was unbeatable today.
“James came out to the enclosure and I said, ‘what did you think of the ride on Kementari?’ and he said, ‘mate, if you think I’m going to ride Cascadian like Nash (Rawiller) rode Kementari you need to find another jockey’.
“Riding Cascadian today was all about using his energy wisely.
“He had the fitness of a horse that was back from 2000 (metres) two runs ago and was going to be fit in a fast-run 1400 and was going to handle the track beautifully.
“He’s a wonderful horse.”
The day has seen the Cummings family take home the last two Group 1 races of the Sydney Autumn Carnival, with James’ father Anthony claiming victory with She’s Extreme in the earlier Champagne Stakes (1600m),
“(Media commentator) Bruce McAvaney told me when I won the Stradbroke (with Trekking) and Dad won the J J Atkins (with Prince Fawaz), it was the first time in Australian history it had ever been done,” said Cummings.
“I said to Bruce, well we will get up and do it again one day.
“It has taken us three years.”
McDonald said that barrier one was an absolute blessing, but he was in there a long time and the horse is always a mid to back runner.
“He jumped well, but he just come out a bit sluggish for the next 100m, so I actually had to make him, rub him into a spot and then he travelled up.
“I was impressed with the way he bridled up from the 600m to the 400m where horses have been struggling all day and he scooted through it.
“When I was actually peeling off Nash’s back (rider of the third horse Ellsberg) I could see Tofane.
“I had a few lengths to make up, but I thought Tofane might’ve been suspect at that last little bit and I’d really started rattling home 100m from home.
“I knew if something was finishing down the outside it had to be good. Very proud of the horse, what a training performance.”