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Impose - Profile of a Champion
a decade since the huge chestnut defied history to record a second successive
Doncaster-Epsom double over the famous mile course at Randwick. A year later he again
stunned those who said he was well past his best in defeating one of the best line ups in
a WS Cox Plate. He carried the colours of racing legend Carbine who had taken all before
him in Australian racing 100 years before.
His story began in New Zealand where he was foaled at John Grant's Meadowland Stud and then offered for sale at the 1986 Trentham Yearling Sales. His sire Imposing was himself a flashy chestnut by champion Todman (by Star Kingdom) and had been a brilliant racehorse winning the 1979 Group 1 Epsom Hcp and Group 1 George Main Stakes at Randwick after earlier winning the now Group 1 Stradbroke Hcp. Retired to stud he sired many Group 1 winners in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa including Credit Account, Golden King, Importune, Imposera, Petrava and Solveig. Super Impose's dam was the unraced Pheroz Fancy by Taipan, who also had Star Kingdom in his pedigree, from Pheroz Jewel the winner of 8 races including the Group 2 ARC George Adams Hcp also the dam of talented sire El Qahira. Super Impose was her first foal.
Trainer Lee Freedman attended the Trentham sale and picked out three yearlings from the catalogue he was interested in. The other two which ultimately sold to the Bart Cummings stable turned out to be class racehorses Beau Zam (champ 3yo of 87-88) and Sky Chase (sire of Saintly). For the price of $NZ40,000 the chestnut son of Imposing and Pheroz Fancy was heading to Victoria and the Freedman stable in the ownership of C Biggins, G Longbottom, J Journeaux, R Moffat, J Newton and K Fawcett..
His racing career was delayed when during his early breaking in his forelegs began to show the beginnings of bowed tendons so he was spelled for 10 months to heal the problem. When he entered training as a 3yo he showed promise and won a barrier trial at Epsom before heading the races for the first time.
Super Impose made his racing debut at Seymour in late December 1987. He gave nothing else a chance in leading all the way to win by 3 1/2 lengths from Mighty Kaoru with a further 2 lengths to Klondike in third. Two weeks later he ran second beaten only a neck to Ranchero Star in an Improvers Hcp at Seymour. His first run on a metropolitan track produced a third at Sandown beaten only 3/4 length and a nose by Past Habit and King and Coda. A fortnight later he produced a shocker beaten over 25 lengths in a race at Moonee Valley. Returned to the country tracks he returned to form running second to Just Eartha beaten by a half head in a Geelong Progressive before another second in a 2000m Improvers Hcp at Colac. Given a short let up he bolted home 6 lengths clear over 1200m at Benalla. This win was impressive enough for Super Impose to be returned to the city racetracks where he encountered a heavy track at Caulfield running 5th 6 1/2 lengths behind Haughty Lad. Until this point in his career Super Impose had been racing in the lead or close to it and defying his rivals to run him down. Then a race which would mark the start of his famous finishing burst occurred. In a race over 1400m at Flemington Super Impose missed the start and settled down near the rear. Turning for home he started to make up ground in a rush and despite being blocked for a run at one stage flew home to miss catching Chetford by a head. After another wet track run he was given a let up for the spring. After a third first up he returned to Flemington to take on the Open class horses. Despite drifting out to 50-1 in betting at one stage Super Impose showed he was up to the challenge in finishing fourth behind the well performed Bonded, stakeswinner Scarvila and Adraanito. Next he went to Caulfield to run second to multiple group 1 winner Eastern Classic beaten a neck leaving good performers Springfield Lad and Our Avon's Gold in his wake. A third at Geelong followed before he ran Crown Ridge to a half head on a Slow track at Flemington in the Grey Smith Stakes.
Super Impose was then set for the Ballarat Cup. Around the home turn he was behind the majority of runners and swung wide around the home turn. Great Warrior was running on from midfield with Betoota and Bronze Knight fighting it out halfway down the straight. By the 100m Great Warrior drew up to Betoota with Wolveraction between them and Super Impose charging down the outside. The wall of horses thundered towards the post where Great Warrior was in front by a nose from Wolveraction then Super Impose but after protests of second against first and third against second and first the placings were amended to Great Warrior holding first, Super Impose being promoted to second and Wolveraction third.
Back to the city and the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Super Impose gave nothing else a chance in powering to the front at the 200m and going away from Crown Ridge to win by 2 1/2 lengths with Be Reasonable third. Super Impose was then taken to Sydney for the Christmas races. Entered in a Welter Super Impose made his run along the rails to hit the front in the final 150m and win easily by 2 1/2 lengths from Garoona who chased hard with Reaction third. He then started in the 2400m Summer Cup on boxing day where Brentano and Moniuszko were well clear by the 200m but Super Impose began to storm home down the outside. Under hands and heels riding he hit the lead by the 100m and raced away to win eased up on the line by 2 lengths from Moniuszko with Brentano third.
Super Impose was then given a short spell before taking on Australia's best racehorses in his autumn campaign. First up he took on the proven Group 1 WFA horses in the CF Orr Stakes. Passing the 200m Vo Rogue led Marwong by 3 lengths with Super Impose (66-1) starting to storm home from the tail. In the run to the line Vo Rogue was too strong winning by 1 1/2 lengths with a further 2 lengths to Marwong third and Dandy Andy fourth. He couldn't match Vo Rogue in the St George Stakes and then took on a field minus the frontrunner in the TS Carlyon Cup at Caulfield. Black Charleston led for home but Super Impose burst from the pack to hit the front past the 250m. In the run to the line he raced away to win by two lengths from Dandy Andy with Apollo Run third. Another second to Vo Rogue in the Australian Cup followed with Cox Plate winner Our Poetic Prince filling third place. Super Impose then headed to the Sydney carnival.
The moment the chestnut landed in Sydney the rain started and eventually any hope of a start was abandoned as Super Impose then headed to Brisbane. He ran fifth behind Groucho in the Sir Byrne Hart Stakes before being beaten over 40 lengths and beating two others home on a bog track in the Hollindale Cup.
Super Impose was sent for a spell and resumed as a 5yo in the Grange Hcp over 1000m at Sandown. In slow conditions he ran on wide on the track from the rear to be 5 lengths behind Undoubted. Back to a firm track and Flemington he took on another class field in the Craiglee Stakes. Past the 200m Apollo Run was in front with Almaarad and Super Impose in pursuit. Super Impose tried to lay in as Apollo Run fought back with Almaarad between them. On the line Apollo Run held the lead to win by a nose from Almaarad with Super Impose a long neck away in third and a break to The Phantom taking fourth place. Dropped back to Open class for his next run Super Impose started as the odds on favourite. Painted Ocean took the lead as Super Impose started to run on from the back of the field. By the 200m Painted Ocean was going strongly as Super Impose moved to second from Water Boatman. In the concluding stages Painted Ocean was too good holding on to win by a neck from Super Impose with Water Boatman third. Five days later he ran a close fourth in the Underwood Stakes to Almaarad, Apollo Run and The Phantom.
Returning to his favourite track Super Impose again had Vo Rogue amongst his rivals and started at 7-1. On straightening Vo Rogue was well clear from Research with Super Impose a further three lengths back running on. By the 200m Super Impose had joined Research as they joined Vo Rogue with a break to Sydeston making ground. Inside the final 100m Super Impose came away to win by two lengths from Research with Sydeston finishing hard for third just ahead of Vo Rogue. It was then back to Caulfield where again he couldn't match Almaarad beaten 5 1/2 lengths into 9th place as Vitalic and Vo Rogue filled the placings. Continuing on the Cups campaign his next run was the Caulfield Cup. Soon after jumping Super Impose crossed from a wide barrier to be third last on the rails. By the 1400m Cosign led Dr Grace as Super Impose was well back behind Cole Diesel. Pasing the 800m Dr Grace took over from Cosign then Ideal Centreman and Sydeston as Cole Diesel ran on with Super Impose being checked as he tried to follow. On straightening Sydeston, Dr Grace and Cosign were fighting it out from a wall of horses with Cole Diesel finishing hard down the centre as Super Impose was again badly checked while being held up behind tiring horses. By the 200m Cole Diesel powered past the leaders to sprint away to victory from Nayrizi and The Phantom as Super Impose finally found a clear run finishing strongly to be only four lengths from the winner.
Two weeks later he took on the WFA performers in the Mackinnon Stakes. Vo Rogue led from Eye Of The Sky and Horlicks then Research as Super Impose dropped out to last. By the 1400m Vo Rogue strode along in front well clear from Eye Of The Sky and Fleetwood Lad followed by Horlicks and Research as Super Impose was still well back in second last place. On straightening Vo Rogue led Research gave chase from King's High and Horlicks as Super Impose swung wide to put in his effort. By the 200m Vo Rogue was challenged by King's High then Horlicks from Research as Super Impose charged down the outside. Inside the final 100m Horlicks hit the front to draw away and win by 3/4 of a length from King's High with Vo Rogue holding third from Super Impose.
Three days later he lined up in the big one the Melbourne Cup and was sent out at 25-1. Super Impose led in the early stages as the field settled into stride. Power of Destiny took over but Stylish Century after pulling fiercely eventually led the field past the post the first time with Coshking then Empire Rose three wide around Ideal Centreman and Super Impose. By the 1800m Stylish Century was joined by Empire Rose then Coshking and Power of Destiny followed by Ideal Centreman and Super Impose with Fleetwood Lad three wide. With 1100m left Kudz moved forward around Stylish Century and Coshking then Empire Rose and Power of Destiny with Super Impose pocketed on the rail inside Ideal Centreman. On straightening Kudz had raced well clear from Power of Destiny as Super Impose pushed his was out of the pocket to give chase from Fleetwood Lad. By the 300m Super Impose hit the front from Kudz as Lord Hybrow then Tawriffic started to fly home out wide. Passing the 200m Super Impose still held the front but Kudz was fighting back and Tawriffic was joining then out wide. Inside the final 50m Tawriffic started to come away to win from Super Impose who held off Kudz and The Phantom who flew home late. It was later revealed that Super Impose had been invited to represent Australia in the Japan Cup but connections had preferred to set their charge for the Melbourne Cup. In hindsight it was probably as wise decision as champion New Zealand mare at her peak became the first horse from this region to win the Japan Cup.