Purple Smile outstayed his rivals to record an upset win over Tunes and Real Love in the 2016 Adelaide Cup at Morphettville this afternoon.
Purple Smile and Tunes kicked clear out of their rivals at the top of the straight, while Real Love loomed on the outside, but it was Purple Smile that was able to run out the trip strongly to score a narrow victory.
Co-trainer Tom Dabernig admitted after the race that the stable was not particularly confident about the chances of Purple Smile in the Adelaide Cup, but he said his confidence grew as he saw how well the son of Zabeel was travelling towards the top of the straight.
“I must admit, we came into the race not that confident,” Dabernig said.
“We are a long shot and we drew the outside gate, but he is a Zabeel.
“He sat wide in the run, he didn’t have a lot of favors, but turning for home I could tell that there was still a lot of horse underneath and he was travelling really well.
“He is a very tough genuine horse and he is a horse that keeps coming.
“It is a great thrill.”
Jockey Stephen Baster thought he had won the Australian Cup on Awesome Rock at Flemington on Saturday and was close to tears on the way back to scale, but he cruely had the race taken away from him after Racing Victoria stewards elected to award the race on protest to Preferment.
Baster admitted that he was disappointed not to have won the Australian Cup, but he said that racing was game of highs and lows and he was thrilled to enjoy another high on Purple Smile in the Adelaide Cup this afternoon.
“I have been in the racing game for a long time now and I know that it has its ups and downs.
“You really have to celebrate the ups and unfortunately there are quite a few downs as well.
“It hurt to run second in the Australia Cup, but now we are here for the Adelaide Cup and we have won.
“It was a fantastic effort by this horse, he toughed it out because he was a bit deep going around the first turn.
“I got a nice little cart up behind them and to his credit he was really strong to the line.
“I couldn’t see her (Real Love), but she is a good mare and I was worried that they would get to us in the last 100, but to my blokes credit two miles is a totally different story and he was the best stayer on the day.”
Tunes produced the best performance of his career to finish second behind Tunes, while Real Love didn’t look to run out the 3200 metres strongly and was still able to finish third.