Sense Of Occasion | Horse Of The Month May 2017
Sense Of Occasion - Horse Of The Month May 2017
It was really a simple choice to select Sense Of Occasion as the Betsfree.com Horse of the Month for May 2017.
The 6YO bay won the Doomben Cup on the 20th of the month, and while we certainly appreciate that others may have a different view as to the most significant race in May, the Group 1 Doomben Cup has been a measure of greatness for many years, mainly for the tough weight-for-age conditions and the 2000 metre length, which demands the stamina of a stayer with the speed of a miler.
This year’s race was particularly taxing, as the course was heavy, which was characteristic for many of the autumn races. Sense of Occasion carried 59 kg for the race, which was top weight, although the Doomben Cup does place a great deal of emphasis on experience, so Sense Of Occasion was one of 12 carrying 59 kg, so he beat an experienced field for the win.
It was the gelding’s first Group 1 win, so the role of perseverance weighed in our decision, no doubt. On a heavy track and jumping from the widest position, the win impresses us even more.
Our May honouree is a veteran of 34 races and has eight wins and nine placings to his credit, but to win at Group 1 level for the first time is the sort of perseverance we can truly appreciate. Six of his eight wins have come on soft or heavy rated tracks, so he is obviously endowed with great power. Sense Of Occasion has quietly taken in just under $1.7 million in prize money, so his trainer, Newcastle’s Kris Lees, deserves credit for getting the most from him.
Sense of Occasion was also in good form in April running third in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick behind Winx and Hartnell. Just a week prior, he produced another third at Randwick in the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap. Corey Brown was aboard for the Doomben Cup, the Queen Elizabeth and the Doncaster.
Sense Of Occasion is a product of the shuttle stallion trend. His sire was Street Sense of the U.S. His dam was Saywaan, a lightly raced mare with the impressive New Zealand stayer Zabeel for her sire.
We do not know what the future holds for Sense Of Occasion, but a breakthrough win at an advanced age against a capable field under weight-for-age conditions suggests that he will be back for another campaign, something punters who have had the wisdom to back him throughout his career.