The Golden Eagle (1500m) is heading to the land of the rising sun, as Japanese star Obamburumai (+600) powered to victory in the $10 million feature.
Jockey Joshua Parr was the beneficiary of an unfit Yutaka Take who was unable to make his way down under, allowing Parr to take the reins aboard the Keiji Yoshimura-trained colt.
It was a lovely rail-hugging steer by Joshua Parr bouncing evenly from barrier two to hold a position, leaving the Godolphin duo of Golden Mile (+4000) and Pericles (+1200) to set a slow tempo up on speed.
Zac Lloyd had seemingly pinched a winning break on his rivals, as Hawaii Five Oh (+300) and Amelia’s Jewel (+260) found nothing but trouble throughout the journey.
Pericles then looked the winner with 200m to run, before Obamburamai charged through the gap to score an incredible victory.
2023 Golden Eagle Replay – Obamburumai | T: Keiji Yoshimura | J: Joshua Parr
Keiji Yoshimura was on course to celebrate the victory and praised the ride of Joshua Parr (speaking via a translator).
“I have never screamed so loud after a race in my life,” said Yoshimura.
“It was a perfect ride by Josh. He took some time before the race to go over the tactics and he just played it out perfectly.
“It was the perfect ride by Josh. We went through the tactics before with Josh and how to ride the horse. It looked like he might have been a bit far behind but Josh played it perfect. We knew the track was going to be fair and it played out perfectly.”
Joshua Parr was visibly emotional post-race and spoke to the magnitude of his victory.
“My voice is breaking up,” said Parr.
“I’ve been doing some roaring in the last five minutes, I tell you. What a moment this is in my career, in my life, everything. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to pick up this horse today.
“Obviously the disappointment of Yutaka Take missing out through injury, that doesn’t sit right with me. But the fact that I was Johnny on the spot, I got the ride and I produced one of my better ones to get the victory, I’m speechless.
“He is one hell of an animal, isn’t he?
“I actually had a phone call with my Mum last night and Mum said, ‘what can I expect?” I said ‘I’m pretty sure he’s the best horse I’ve sat upon but he’s going to need a lot of luck’.
“He got the luck and he showed his ability.”