The Punt Drunk team have began the tough task of compiling our list of the Top 10 Group 1 victories in 2022, dating back to the CF Orr Stakes in February, right through to the Northerly Stakes in early December. We do this in honour of fast-approaching Christmas and the end of the year. With three Friday’s left, we will kick off with 7-10 today, with 4-6 on the 23rd and our top three reveal on December 30.
Make sure to let us know in the comment section below what your Top 10 would be.
#10: Stradbroke Handicap – Alligator Blood
There have been few better fairytale stories than Alligator Blood in 2022. The ‘Gator returned to his Group 1 winning ways during the Brisbane Winter Carnival when saluting in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in emphatic fashion.
It was his first win at any level since his success in the 2020 Group 1 Australian Guineas having needed to overcome several injuries that could have ended his career.
Having finished second in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1300m) the start prior in his first hit-out for new trainers Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, the writing was on the wall a long way out in the Stradbroke.
When Tim Clark asked for an effort, the ‘Gator was quick to respond and reminded the racing fraternity just how good he is on his day.
#9 Memsie Stakes – Snapdancer
The win by the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Snapdancer in the first Group 1 of the 2022/23 season in Victoria, the Memsie Stakes (1400m) finds its way into our Top 10 for 2022.
Having claimed the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide, the mare came back for just one start during the spring in what turned out to be her final race before retirement.
Despite being pestered throughout by roughie Callsign Mav, the mare managed to break her rivals hearts in what was a career peak for her.
Ethan Brown urged her along inside the final 300m and despite I’m Thunderstruck charging home late, Snapdancer had a big enough break to bring up a second Group 1 from her last three starts.
It makes you wonder just what she might have achieved if she stayed fit throughout the spring…
#8 Cox Plate – Anamoe
Yes, we know Anamoe claiming the Cox Plate (2040m) is not in our top five is going to cause plenty of controversy.
Obviously his win was impressive, but every man and their dog is going to have the ‘Big A’ as one of the best performances.
We just think there’s a few ahead of him.
Aided by a perfect steer from James McDonald, Anamoe managed to land the one-one throughout and as he cornered, he had the race shot to bits with plenty of punters cheering him at Moonee Valley.
It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that if I’m Thunderstruck was not held up for a run and strung up on the rail at a crucial point, that he would have finished much closer than the half-length than he did and who knows he may have caused somewhat of an upset.
However, it was Anamoe, James McDonald and James Cummings who got the chocolates and helped Anamoe and his fans overcome the heartbreak from 12-months earlier where he was ever so close to claiming the race as a three-year-old.
#7 The Everest – Giga Kick
Alright, before you come at us about The Everest (1200m) not being a Group 1 event, we know.
However, the race is worth a stack of dollars and is essentially a glorified Group 1 race with the best sprinters in the country.
This year, the Clayton Douglas-trained Giga Kick shocked the world when claiming the sprint over the likes of Nature Strip, Eduardo, Masked Crusader and Mazu.
The three-year-old had risen through the grades in Victoria and came to the race undefeated through four starts.
His fifth start saw him conquer The Everest under Craig Williams and handed trainer Clayton Douglas his biggest success as a trainer.
He gave his rivals a start and a beating and as a three-year-old gelding we are almost certain this will not be the last time Giga Kick features in our Top 10 in the coming years.
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Welcome to Punt Drunk – our daily column covering all the latest horse racing and punting controversies, dramas and headline news. Have a story or gripe or issue that just grinds your gears? Just hit us up in the comments or contact us page and our jaded, punt hardened Punt Drunk staff will give it the Punt Drunk treatment it deserves. Don’t expect pleasantries or typical racing media fanboy gloss from Punt Drunk – we’re on the punt and we don’t have time to bullshit; the next is about to jump…