Might And Power Champion Racehorse
Might And Power Melbourne Cup Winner
Might And Power was one of the successful progeny, along with Octagonal, to be produced by the New Zealand champion galloper and sire Zabeel.
Might And Power earned well beyond $5 million dollars over the course of his 33 race career. He would win 15 of those and add another 8 placings, running unplaced only 10 times. By far, his greatest achievement would be the 1997 double he produced in the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup.
The World’s Best Stayer For That Season
Might And Power was foaled in 1993. His sire Zabeel presents something of a quandary in deciding whether it was his accomplishments on the track or his output standing stud that are the most significant.
Might And Power’s dam was an Irish mare named Benediction, a singular winner on the track but two-time Broodmare of the Year for New Zealand in 1998 and 1999.
As a racer, Might And Power made his first start at Canterbury Racecourse in the quiet racing month of June. In a race restricted to two-year-old colts and gelding with no previous metro wins, he could do no better than third. This caused his connections to send him for a brief spell of five weeks.
His final race as a two-year-old found him winning a 1400 metre event at Randwick.
Might And Power’s first attempt as a three-year-old came at Rosehill. That attempt supplied a second place finish.
His connections apparently then made the decision that he lacked sufficient maturity to compete regularly, so they again spelled him, this time for almost six months.
He won a Group 3 event at Canterbury on his third try. This race, at 1900 metres, was his greatest distance to date, showing signs that he had stayer potential. He was steered on that occasion for the first time by Jim Cassidy.
That pair would win again the week following at that same track and again at 1900 metres.
It was decided to move the promising three-year-old up to Group 1 classification, but three attempts at that level produced no wins. He was sent back to the Group 3 ranks, where he immediately produced a dominating six length victory in the Frank Packer Plate to complete a solid if unspectacular three-year-old campaign.
He then took another 4 months’ rest before winning a Listed spring at Flemington, this time with Brian York aboard.
They worked together for three more runs, and although there were no victories, Might And Power was showing enough potential to warrant a return to higher level races.
He had a run in the Epsom Handicap, which he lost by less than three lengths. Trainer Jack Denham and owner N. Moraitis then switched hoops back to top jockey Cassidy, and Might And Power began to show his true form.
On 18 October 1997, on his second attempt at a mile and a half, he decimated the field in the Caulfield Cup, winning by nearly 8 lengths, a victory that caused considerable consternation amongst handicappers forecasting for the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup.
Denham made the decision to hold Might And Power out of the Cox Plate, and did not race him prior to the Melbourne Cup.
Might And Power received an extra 3.5 kg for the Cup as his reward for winning the Caulfield, but he nonetheless went off as the favourite.
Melbourne Cup Win
He led from the jump, but had to fend off multiple challenges from the halfway point on. A photo finish at the end revealed that Might And Power had managed to hold off Doreimus.
Might And Power next ran in February of 1998 at Caulfield, but did not win, struggling with minor injury and possibly from running at reduced distances.
Denham then relieved Cassidy of steering duties and returned to Brian York. That pair won the Group 1 Mercedes Classic, and then practically lapped the field in winning the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes against a field of multiple Group 1 winners by over 10 lengths. That was followed by a Group 2 victory in the Gold Coast and a record setting outing in the Doomben Cup to conclude his four-year-old campaign.
Might And Power’s season as a five year old found him hampered by a lingering virus, but he did manage to win the Chelmsford Stakes and the Yalumba Stakes. He then added the Cox Plate to his resume, again employing his signature tactic of running at the front and winning comfortably.
Might And Power Wins The Queen Elizabeth Stakes
His final win followed, a 7 length win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
He did race again after being spelled for almost two years. He was tried three times with no success, and then permanently retired.
Might And power was recognized with Australian Horse of the Year honours in 1998 and 1999. Along with Champion Stayer predominant for his Cups double in 1997, he was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame during that organisation’s second year.
Ten major wins may seem a bit short of the required credentials for Hall inclusion, but when a Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate are factored into the equation, it seems as though he is more than adequate.