My 8 Favorite Moments on the International Turf in 2014
If you're a fan of turf racing, and like to curl up with a favorite beverage and peruse long articles, you'll love the Reilly Turf Awards -- my unique take on the year-in-review genre that comes in both North American and International editions over on Brisnet. Bet you can't guess who got "Most Tantalizing What-Might-Have-Been" in either of them.
But if you prefer your retrospectives in video form, here are my eight favorite moments on the international turf in 2014. You've probably seen the domestic clips over and over again, so I'm confining myself to the international scene. And there's an emphasis on the word "favorite," since these are the races I personally enjoyed the most. Your mileage may vary.
Counting down in reverse order:
8. Adelaide's last-to-first, wide-trip victory in the Cox Plate, becoming the first international to prevail in Australia's weight-for-age championship.
7. Epiphaneia's four-length demolition job in the Japan Cup, the race that had eluded his sire Symboli Kris S. And did I mention Epiphaneia's out of 2005 American Oaks romper Cesario?
6. Designs on Rome versus Able Friend in the Hong Kong Derby, a classic that featured two eventual Hong Kong International Race winners.
5. Kingman avenges his Guineas loss by defeating Night of Thunder in the St James's Palace.
4. Noble Mission outduels Al Kazeem in the Champion Stakes, showing terrific heart to emulate his full brother Frankel. Unofficial racecall courtesy of teenager/aspiring racecaller Luke Humphreys.
3. Sea the Moon goes on a sightseeing tour around Hamburg in the Deutsches Derby.
2. Treve says, "what back problems?" while scoring an historic repeat in the Arc.
1. Australia makes history as the son of Epsom Derby hero Galileo and Oaks queen Ouija Board passes that same winning post. That was a moment to savor for anyone who cherishes our Thoroughbreds as flesh-and-blood links to bygone champions.
And speaking of bygone champions, here's a bonus: the tribute to the late High Chaparral, courtesy of Aidanobrienfansite.