Award claims gold in Cox Plate
Shamus Award made most of the running to claim the Sportingbet Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
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Trained by Danny O'Brien and ridden by Chad Schofield, the three-year-old colt, who had been winless from five previous starts, bravely fended off all-comers to take Australia's weight-for-age championship by a slender margin.
Connections of Happy Trails might, however, feel a shade aggrieved at the outcome.
Dwayne Dunn's companion flew at the death and would arguably have won within a handful of more strides.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente, formerly in Newmarket with Sir Michael Stoute, was always prominent and clung on for third spot, with Foreteller a big eyecatcher in fourth.
Side Glance, trained by Andrew Balding, ran a decent race in sixth, but compatriot Mull Of Killough did not pick up as might have been expected and was never really a factor.
Schofield said: "It's a dream come true. He travelled sweetly for me in front - he was tough to the line."
O'Brien said: "We got our chance to go out there and make our own luck and it shows what a good colt this is. He could have easily been a Guineas winner and a Cox Plate winner, but we are happy to take the Cox Plate.
"We were always wanting to run and we were well aware that we would be the last into this field. Not much has gone his way the whole spring, but the last seven days have gathered momentum.
"It's a great feeling. These majors are not that easy to win and they don't come along very often."
Balding said of Side Glance: "It's a pity he didn't settle, he was very gassy, but in the end he was only beaten four lengths. He has picked up £75,000 just for that, but he could run again, maybe in something like the Mackinnon (at Flemington on Saturday before Melbourne Cup)."
Race favourite It's A Dundeel was beaten before turning in while Puissance De Lune, a one time ante-post favourite for the Melbourne Cup, also failed to land a blow and was pushed out to a top price 33/1 from 8s.
In contrast, the bookmakers were impressed by the run of Fiorente and Gai Waterhouse's five year old is the new outright favourite for the race that stops a nation.