Japanese horses quinella Melbourne Cup

November 8, 2006

Japanese horses finished first and second in yesterday's Melbourne Cup, leaving a quality field of Australian and European horses in their wake.

Delta Blues, ridden Yasunari Iwata, was pushed to the front in the race for home and could not be overhauled. Pop Rock, ridden by Damien Oliver, mounted a strong challenge, but they went to the line stride for stride, with Pop Rock second by half a head. It was Yasunari Iwata's first ride in Australia.

Maybe Better was third.

The quinella saw the Japanese net nearly $A4 million of the $A5.1 million prize money on offer.

The success demonstrates the impact of Japanese supersire Sunday Silence on Asian racing. Sunday Silence, who died in 2002 of laminitis, was the sire of Delta Blues's father, Dance In The Dark, and Pop Rock's dam, Pops.

The trainer of the two horses, Katsuhiko Sumii, had been preparing the horses for seven months, going as far as flying Australian feed out to Japan to get them used to the diet.

The best finishing New Zealand horse was Mandela, who finished ninth and earned $140,000.