10 Mar 2014

Fiorente takes $A1m Australian Cup

12:24 pm on 10 March 2014

Pin-up horse Fiorente has added another cup victory to his resume, claiming the $1 million Australian Cup at Flemington.

The race had been billed as a showdown with Cox Plate winner Shamus Award, but it was another Melbourne Cup winner, Green Moon, that made Fiorente work hardest for his victory.

Fiorente had a half-length to spare on the line from Green Moon, with the ever-consistent Foreteller running on for third in the 2000m contest.

Shamus Award carved out a moderate lead and was still in front 200m from home, but wilted in the closing stages to finish sixth.

Fiorente winning the Melbourne Cup, under jockey Damien Oliver.

Fiorente winning the Melbourne Cup, under jockey Damien Oliver. Photo: AFP

Fiorente joins elite company in being the sixth horse to win the Melbourne Cup and Australian Cup since the latter went to weight-for-age.

It was the first Australian Cup victory for jockey Damien Oliver, who has now notched up his 101st Group One victory.

Until this week he had been riding under the assumption that he was two short of the century, but after some research he discovered his Melbourne Cup triumph in the spring was number 100.

"It's great to see a Melbourne Cup winner come back and be so dominant in the Australian Cup," said Oliver, who had been placed seven times in the Australian Cup before Saturday. "He's really stamping his authority and it's really great to be a part of his journey."

It was also a first Australian Cup victory for champion trainer Gai Waterhouse.

"I've wanted to win this race and I knew I had the horse to do it," Waterhouse said. "He thrills the crowd so much - the way he picks them up and knows where the winning post is."

Waterhouse flagged she is likely to nominate Fiorente, a former European galloper, for races at Britain's Royal Ascot in June.