Super Impose Champion Racehorse
Super Impose Champion Thoroughbred In 80's & Early 1990's
One of these was that he enjoyed longevity is his career that is far beyond today’s norm. He raced 74 times, or about thrice as long as some of horses that compete in recent times.
Another was that he had the ability to completely confound his connections, bookmakers and punters with his ability to dominate at some times and at others appear as to be devoid of any notion as to why he was on the track.
Winning The Cox Plate
The event that sets him apart from all others, however, was his feat of winning the W.S. Cox Plate as an eight-year old.
He was another in the long list that traces their beginnings to New Zealand. His sire was Imposing and his grandsire was a name familiar to most punters, Todman.
His sire was Pheroz Fancy, a New Zealand broodmare that was never raced. Super Impose’s lines also link to Europe and the United States.
He was foaled in 1984. He was purchased by trainer Lee Freedman in 1986, who was entrusted with finding a talented horse by a syndicate that trusted Freeman’s judgment. Interestingly, Freedman chose Super Impose over two other yearlings that were priced beyond what his syndicate was willing to pay.
Bart Cummings was there to snap up the two and received two time Group 1 race winner Sky Chase and five time Group 1 winner Beau Zam that also ran second in the Caulfield Cup.
Super Impose was never given the opportunity to run as a two-year-old. He was the winner on his very first effort at Seymore in late December of 1987. His next five races did not supply any wins, but he never finished worse than third in those.
Super Impose Wins First Up
He spelled until May, winning first up at Benally, and then running second in his first appearance at Flemington. He was not exactly overwhelming, but he still had years ahead of him.
The beginning of his efforts as a four-year-old also held little promise. Six races produced nothing better than a third place finish, with the other five finding him unplaced.
His prospects began an upward progression when Super Impose notched to second place finishes that were capped off with his first significant win, the 1988 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, an 1800 metre Group 3 race at the end of the Spring Racing Carnival. He next ventured to Sydney, where he won twice, including the 2400 metre Group 3 Summer Cup at Randwick.
A return to Melbourne featured three second place finishes in major events, and topped those with a track record in the Group 3 Carylon Cup.
He was held out for the rest of his fall schedule, since conditions were consistently wet and heavy and Super Impose had proven himself no mudd lark.
He ran five times when he kicked off his campaign as a five-year-old before he won the 2000 metre Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington. He was tried in the Caulfield Stakes and the Caulfield
In 1989’s Melbourne Cup, he turned in what Freedman was to declare “One of his best performances.” At the finish, he seemingly had the race won, but he was nosed out by the lighter Tawrrific that was better acquainted with the 3200 metre distance.
He then was forced to spell again as wet weather conspired to make track conditions poorly suited to him, before a rare dry day gave him the opportunity to compete in and win the 1990 Doncaster Handicap at Randwick, which he did carrying top weight for the field. That was the conclusion to his efforts as a five-year-old.
Super Impose took his first race as a six-year-old, Sydney’s Warwick Stakes. Two seconds followed, and then he tasted victory in the Epsom Handicap, again carrying op weight and again running down the field in the stretch. That year’s Caulfield Stakes found him bleeding, which resulted in an automatic ban of three months.
Chester Manifold Stakes
He came back to win the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes, a 1400 metre event at Flemington in early January of 1991.
He next so confounded everyone with an inexplicable last place finish in the Mercedes Classic that saw Super Impose threatened by stewards with a barrier trial. That did not take place, however, and he won his second Doncaster Handicap and a second win of the All Aged Stakes.
It was his finest campaign to that point in his career.
As a seven-year-old, Super Impose had over 50 starts behind him. He repeated in the Warwick Stakes, did not place in the Chelmsford Stakes, and then won the Hill Stakes.
His career seemed to be one of dominating wins followed by unplaced runs, something that no doubt gave many a punter reason for pause.
Another victory in the Epson and the Doncaster Handicap followed, both where he carried top weight, succeeded by the singular honour of having a bar christened in his honour at Randwick. Three consecutive wins followed: the Caulfield Stakes, Cox Plate and the LKS Mackinnon Stakes. He finished fourth in that years’ Melbourne Cup.
The start of 1992 found him running second in the Apollo Stakes, and then winning the Chipping Norton Stakes. His last four races for the season offered no joy, and he was often spotting the field a considerable weight advantage.
Still competitive as an eight-year-old, when other horses of similar age were spending their time at stud, Super Impose felt just short of winning his third Warwick Stakes. He placed twice, followed by a fourth in the Epson Handicap. He then posted a win in the Canberra Cup that was seemingly so easy that jockey Mick Dittman was resting him at the end in preparation for the Caulfield Cup.
Here is where we find the remarkable 1992 Cox Plate. Despite the easy win in the Canberra Cup, Dittman shunned Super Impose to take the ride on race favourite Naturalism.
The race went off at a slow pace, playing right into Super Impose’s hooves for his preferred tactic of running down the field in the stretch. There were multiple lead changes in a tightly packed group of twelve.
At the 800 metre mark, Palace Reign ran up on Naturalism, putting him, along with Sydeston and Rough Habit out. The run for home featured Super Impose, his frequent nemesis Let’s Elope and Better Loosen Up running side-by-side for home.
Let’s Elope drifted in from the outside, forcing Better Loosen Up to check, and Super Impose nosed Let’s Elope in one of the most dramatic Cox Plates of all time.
Super Impose tried the Melbourne Cup that year for the final time, running 15th, at which time the decision was made to retire him.
At the time, he had established a record for prize money. His final statistics were 74 starts, 20 wins, 24 seconds, 8 thirds and 22 unplaced. He then spent his time in an ambassadorial role since he could not stand stud. He was 22 when he was put down in 2007. He was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame later that year.