Fiorente could be in line for a return to Royal Ascot
Fiorente could be in line for a return to England after winning the Group One Australian Cup at Flemington.
Last Updated: 08/03/14 12:52pm
The six-year-old son of Monsun was having his first start since winning the Melbourne Cup in November and added a second top level victory to his haul after getting the better of a gripping duel with another Cup winner, Green Moon.
The winning margin was half a length with Foreteller third and the strongly fancied Cox Plate winner Shamus Award back in sixth.
The win was notable not only for Fiorente who joined elite company in being the sixth horse to do the Melbourne Cup and Australian Cup double since the latter went to weight-for-age but also for jockey Damien Oliver who was winning his 101st Group One.
It was also a first Australian Cup victory for champion trainer Gai Waterhouse who told www.abc.net.au: "I've wanted to win this race and I knew I had the horse to do it.
"He thrills the crowd so much - the way he picks them up and knows where the winning post is."
Waterhouse will now turn her attention to Sydney with Fiorente and the rich Championships, culminating in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 19 but she is also considering a return to England for Royal Ascot.
"Why wouldn't I take him to Royal Ascot now," Waterhouse told AAP Racing. "He's in supreme form and he's still only lightly raced - he's only had 18 starts."
Shamexpress could only finish ninth in the King's Stand Stakes last year and the sprinter had to settle for a minor role in the Newmarket Handicap on the card dubbed as Super Saturday.
Danny O'Brien's five-year-old took fourth in the Group One contest over behind impressive winner Lankan Rupee who won Australia's most prestigious sprint race by two and a quarter lengths.
Winning rider Chad Schofield said: "As soon as I pressed the button he really dashed and I haven't had a horse quicken like that for me before."
Lankan Rupee could now bid for a Group One hat-trick in the TJ Smith Stakes at the inaugural Championships meeting in Sydney next month while Royal Ascot is also on the radar for the Redoute's Choice gelding.