There was extra reason for the connections of interstate visitors Dalasan and Fierce Impact to celebrate at Flemington today with both claiming lucrative Spring Racing Carnival bonuses on the opening day of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Three-year-old Dalasan was ridden to victory by Hugh Bowman in the Group 3 Network 10 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m), with the South Australian colt securing its connections an additional $1 million prize courtesy of the Spring Racing Carnival’s three-year-old mile bonus.
Part-owner Harry Perks said it was fantastic for the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas-trained colt to succeed today after a last start fifth as favourite in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
“We did go this way a little bit because of that bonus. We stayed at the mile rather than going to other races. Leon [Macdonald] has done a great job getting him ready for this race. How exciting… I can’t even feel the rain,” Perks said.
Three horses were eligible for the $1 million bonus having contested either the MSC Signs Stutt Stakes (1600m) or Ladbrokes Guineas Prelude (1400m) on the final weekend in September, before lining up in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas three weeks ago.
Groundswell and Conqueror were the other two horses vying for the bonus but could only manage third and fourth place respectively.
New South Wales visitor Fierce Impact capped a stellar month in Melbourne with successive Group 1 victories landing its connections a $500,000 bonus.
Fierce Impact scored a hard-fought win for Craig Williams in the $2 million Group 1 Kennedy Cantala (1600m) after landing the Group 1 Lamaro’s Hotel South Melbourne Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on 12 October.
The $500,000 open mile bonus was on offer for any horse that placed in either the Toorak Handicap or the Group 2 Schweppes Crystal Mile at The Valley last Saturday en route to winning the Kennedy Cantala.
Winning trainer Matthew Smith said it was a truly rewarding outcome with the feature races in Victoria so hard to win during the Spring Racing Carnival.
“We don’t have runners down here very often so it is nice to bring the right horses down here and get a result. It is a massive team effort with so many behind the scenes, working tirelessly to get us here today. Thanks to all at home,” Smith said.
It wasn’t to be for the connections of fillies Li’l Kontra and Brooklyn Hustle who were eyeing off the other $500,000 bonus on offer today after placing in the $500,000 Group 3 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on 16 October. The pair missed out as Exceedance won the $1.5 million Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) denying them the three-year-old sprint bonus.
Each of the bonuses will be split 85% to the owner, 10% to the trainer and 5% to today’s winning jockey.