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Impose - Profile of a Champion
returned to the racetracks with a barrier trial on January 15 1991 where he gave the
leaders up to 20 lengths on the first turn to canter away from them by the finish and in
doing so was given the all clear to resume his career. He returned in the Rubiton Stakes
over 1000m at Sandown against some of the country's best sprinters. He stormed home from
the back of the field to finish 7th beaten three lengths by Redelva, Wrap Around and
Street Ruffian. Back to Flemington and over the 1400m Super Impose gave the fans what they
had been waiting for. As the 8/11 fav and carrying 57kg he raced to the lead passing the
200m under hands and heels and came away to win easily by two lengths from Coachman's
Chill with Century God third. Then on to the CF Orr Stakes where Vo Rogue led the field
clearly to the turn with Super Impose in second last place. On straightening Ark Regal
challenged Vo Rogue with Planet Ruler starting to run on down the centre of the track as
Super Impose was still desperately looking for a clear run. Ark Regal hit the front but
Planet Ruler raced past to win by a half neck with Vo Rogue holding third and Super Impose
finishing hard on their heels in 5th place less that 2 lengths from the winner. While Vo
Rogue went on to be thwarted by Better Loosen Up in his attempt for 3 successive
Australian Cups Super Impose headed to the Sydney carnival and finally struck some dry
The Chipping Norton was his first race of the Sydney autumn and Super Impose was sent out as the 4/7 fav. From the 600m he was four wide but joined the leaders around the turn. Despite drifting in by the 200m he hit the lead from Royal Creation as this pair drew clear to fight it out. Super Impose proved too good holding his narrow advantage to the line to win by a half head with Dr Grace three lengths away in third and Fill The Bill fourth. It was then onto the Ranvet Stakes where he met a similar field and was sent out at 1/2 fav. On the Friday morning he was found to have slight soreness in the off fore foot but seemed OK on race morning to start. He was fitted with a special padded filled to protect the foot from further injury but that shoe flew off his foot soon after the field jumped and he raced on it barefoot for the race. Second last to the turn he moved out wide to make a run. Fill the Bill went to the front on straightening from Dr Grace and Super Impose as Royal Creation tried to get between them By the 200m Super Impose had cruised to the front on the outside as Royal Creation dived through in the centre to try and chase. It was no contest though as Super Impose careered away from the opposition to win under hands and heels from Royal Creation with five lengths back to Dr Grace third and Fill the Bill again fourth.
After the breakdown of Better Loosen Up with a tendon injury after his brilliant victory in the Australian Cup Super Impose again took up the mantel as the best horse in training and was expected to dominate at his next start. Like his two previous wins it was a small field with only 6 runners facing the starter and a Fast rated track. Super Impose was sent out 1/2 fav shocked the racing world with his run. He was ten lengths off the lead to the turn and then tried to hang in behind the other runners on straightening eventually finishing tailed off last. Dr Grace won the race from Shuzohra and Castletown. Super Impose was found to have pulled up sore but further vet examinations couldn't find any actual problem with the horse. Eventually it was felt that the flint hard track had caused foot soreness in turn causing Super Impose to not stretch out and indeed another runner Shouzohra broke down and was pulled up right after the post. The punters were baying for blood and it was thought that the stewards would want the horse to barrier trial before his next race which was due to be the Doncaster only 7 days later. The stewards chose not to enforce a barrier trial but Super Impose did have to pass several vet examinations that week.
Super Impose lined up for his third attempt at a Group 1 Randwick handicap mile the Doncaster. As in 1990 he met 19 rivals and carried the topweight of 59.5kg and was at the tail of the field turning for home. Super impose moved to the outside and started to charge for home. By the 200m close to the rails Livistona Lane hit the front as Super Impose was chasing hard followed by Royal Creation with Shaftesbury Avenue looking for a way through the field. Right on the line Super Impose swamped the opposition to win by a neck from Livistona Lane (who was later disqualified due to a positive swab). Second place was eventually awarded to Royal Creation with Shaftesbury Avenue third but the fans were only focused on one horse Super Impose who became the first horse since Fine and Dandy in the 1960s to win the race twice.
Fans saw their idol a week later in the All Aged Stakes where it took on a small field of 6 runners at weight for age over the Doncaster course. Stylish Century led to the turn as Super Impose started to run on from second last. By the 400m Shaftesbury Avenue joined Stylish Century as Super Impose was still two lengths away on the outside. 200m from home Shaftesbury Avenue sprinted clear as Super Impose moved to second. In the run to the line Shaftesbury Avenue was too good winning by four lengths from Super Impose with Stylish Century third and Stargazer fourth. Super Impose then went for a well earned spell.
Super Impose began his 7yo season with another first up tilt at the Warwick Stakes where he was sent out 11/8 fav in a field of 12. Stylish Century settled in front with Stargazer and Friend's Venture then followed by Afrikaaner, Royal Creation and Livistona Lane then Planed Ruler and Super Impose. Around the turn Friend's Venture took over from Stylish Century with Stargazer, Royal Creation and Afrikaaner challenging from Planet Ruler Livistona Lane and Super Impose. Passing the 200m there was still a line of five horses putting in their claims as Super Impose began to wind up down the outside. Royal Creation hit the lead momentarily as Super Impose powered down the outside to win under hands and heels riding by 1 1/2 lengths from Livistona Lane and Royal Creation. Another shock defeat followed with a 6th at 4/6 fav in the WFA Chelmford Stakes over the Randwick mile with Stargazer too good for Royal Creation and Stylish Century. Two weeks later he was sent out as 1/1 fav in the Hill Stakes run at Canterbury over 1900m. By the 800m Stylish Century led Stargazer then Super Impose with a gap to Just a Dancer, Lee's Bid and Magnolia Hall. On straightening Stylish Century was soon challenged by Stargazer then Super Impose as Just a Dancer made a run down the outside. Inside the 200m Super Impose started to race away from the opposition under hands and heels to win by 3 1/2 lengths from Just a Dancer with a further 3 1/2 lengths to Stargazer third.
Super Impose was the set for a fourth attempt at the big Randwick mile handicaps. Burdened with 61kg opinions were mixed as fans hoped he could do it while facts and figures said he couldn't. Then on the Friday he hit his off side eye against his stall and it swelled by the afternoon. Scott Magee his renowned strapped stayed up all night bathing the injury in a race against time to be fit to run. By 11pm that night it looked hopeless as the chance of history started to slip away. The next morning the eye had improved sufficiently for Super Impose to start in the race with his fans oblivious to the happenings that night and the near scratching of the champion.
To the race itself and Livistona Lane took the lead on settling from Planet Ruler then Don't Play followed by Stylish Century while Super Impose was last of the 20 runners on the rails. By the 700m Planet Ruler took over from Livistona Lane as Stylish Century joined Don't Play then Quick Score and Rechabite while Super Impose was still a clear last. Around the turn Livistona Lane again hit the front from Planet Ruler and Don't Play as Quick Score moved up behind them while the remainder of the field fanned wide blocking any chance of Super Impose repeating his charge down the centre of the track. With 300m to go Livistona Lane gained the upper hand over Planet Ruler then a gap to the others as Darren Beadman aboard Super Impose desperately started to look for gaps near the rail his only possible chance to make ground. With 200m left the gap appeared but Livistona Lane was still well clear as Super Impose and Deposition ran on near the fence. With 150m left it was Livistona Lane from Planet Ruler and Quick Score as Super Impose started to charge along the inside with Bold Rancher making ground on the outside. Inside the final 70m Super Impose set out after Livistona Lane who was still going strongly. By the 50m mark it was all over as Super Impose bounded to the front to race away under hands and heels to win by 1 1/2 lengths from Livistona Lane with Bold Rancher third. The plaudits were endless and the public reacted with one of the greatest ever reception back to scale heard by track regulars. He was a racing hero and had made his mark on two of the hardest races to win on the Australian calendar. Super Impose had won them twice something no horse had ever managed to do before and in the past decade no horse has come close. Nor has any horse since been able to carry 61kg or over to victory in a Group 1 Handicap.
When the euphoria of Super Impose's record breaking feat had started to subside it was back to Melbourne for the spring campaign he had missed in 1990. First up he took on the Caulfield Stakes. Palace Guest settled in front from Shaftesbury Avenue and Dr Grace then a gap to Sydeston then Shiva's Revenge, Durbridge and Rough Habit with Super Impose an estimated 15 lengths off the lead. With 600m to go Shaftesbury Avenue took the frontrunning from Palace Guest then Dr Grace and Shiva's Revenge from Sydeston with Super Impose wide starting to circle the field. On straightening Dr Grace joined Shaftesbury Avenue from Sydeston with Super Impose making his run down the outside followed by Rough Habit. By the 200m Shaftesbury Avenue kicked clear of Dr Grace with Super Impose still making ground on the outside. In the run to the line Shaftesbury Avenue was too brilliant holding on by two lengths from Super Impose with Sydeston third. He had filled the same position as 1990 but most importantly had completed the race without a problem.
This time Super Impose finally got a chance at the WS Cox Plate a race whose winners include all the great racehorses to have run in Australia bar Bernborough. Chortle went to the lead from Stylish Century then Stargazer and Kinjite. Next was Shaftesbury Avenue who nearly fell just past the post the first time then Royal Creation and Ready To Explode with Super Impose in second last position. By the 1600m Chortle led Stylish Century then Stargazer and Kinjite with a gap to Shaftersbury Avenue as Rough Habit made a run around the field. Passing the 800m Stylish Century challenged Chortle then Stargazer as Super Impose started to make ground followed by Surfer's Paradise. Around the turn Rough Habit and Shaftesbury Avenue hit the front from Stylish Century followed by Sydeston then Stargazer with Super Impose making ground wide and Surfer's Paradise still close behind. On straightening Sydeston headed Rough Habit as Super Impose challenged on the outside with Surfer's Paradise waiting for the last shot then Prince Salieri. Inside the 100m Surfer's Paradise hit the front from Super Impose and Sydeston with Ready To Explode running on along the rails. Super Impose tried to fight back but Surfer's Paradise was too strong winning by a length with a further 1 3/4 len to Sydeston in third. It was an anticlimax for Super's fans as many had hoped he'd make up for his early exit from the previous spring. Lee Freedman remarked that it was the first time a horse had come from behind Super Impose and run him down. Surfer's Paradise had been a class horse in New Zealand as a 3yo but he had problems later in his career. Sent to the US he sadly failed to handle the change and ended up racing in claimers. After being claimed by a trainer and being doted on by the trainers daughter Surfer's Paradise died in the late 90s from a heart condition.
Super Impose still had a further target for the spring - the Melbourne Cup. A week after the Cox Plate he lined up in the Mackinnon Stakes. Stylish Century settled in front with Super Impose in second last position. By the 1600m Stylish Century led Majestic Boy then Prince Salieri and Surfer's Paradise while Super Impose trailed the field with Castletown. On straightening Stylish Century led Majestic Boy as Surfer's Paradise started to cruise up as Super Impose started to sprint with Let's Elope from the rear. With 200m to go Let's Elope took the lead from Stylish Century and Surfer's Paradise with Super Impose still making ground down the centre. Let's Elope sprinted clear past the 100m as Super Impose chased then Prince Salieri and Surfer's Paradise. In the run to the post Let's Elope held the opposition to win by 1 1/2 lengths from Super Impose with Prince Salieri third.
Super Impose headed out for the Melbourne Cup carrying 60kg and was unfancied in the market being 20-1. Could he conceed 9kg to the Caulfield Cup winner Let's Elope plus several other lightweights in the race? As they went to the post the first time Sunshine Sally and Ivory Way led Cool Credit and Rural Prince then Magnolia Hall with Super Impose midfield trailing Dr Grace in the field of 24 runners. By the 1600m Sunshine Sally led Rasheek then Rural Prince and Ivory Way as Super Impose raced one off the fence midfield. By the 800m Ivory Way had taken over from Rasheek then Magnolia Hall as Al Maheb, Castletown, Super Impose and Let's Elope fanned wide to start runs. As they straightened Let's Elope and Super Impose engaged in a bumping duel which left Super Impose checked and losing slight ground. By the 400m Ivory Way, Rasheek and Al Maheb were in front as Let's Elope ran in on Castletown and soon after Dr Grace almost fell with his rider all but losing his seat from the scrimmage dropping back from the first 8 to finishing in the last few while Castletown, Shiva's Revenge and Lord Revenir were all checked. Super Impose had regained his momentum to chase hard after the leading group but the lightweight chance Let's Elope hit the front from Ivory Way then Rasheek. In the final stages Let's Elope came away to win from the fast finishing Shiva's Revenge as Magnolia Hall just grabbed third ahead of Super Impose. Was it the huge weight difference Super Impose gave Let's Elope 9kg, Shiva's Revenge 6.5kg and Magnolia Hall 7.5kg or was it that he could stay to around 3100m as his charge had wilted in those final few metres as in 1989. To his fans it didn't matter the champion had tried his heart out and been beaten less than three lengths and headed for a well earned spell. Let's Elope went on to prove to be a champion mare with multiple WFA victories before heading to the US and performing well. Currently she is the dam of the promising 3yo Ustinov. Shiva's Revenge was also shaping up as a talented stayer but sadly broke down hopelessly in the autumn.