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Reliable Man - Longchamp 11/09/2011

Reliable Man: highest-rated European ever exported to Australia

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Trauma follows triumph for Reliable Man

Report: Australia, Saturday

Randwick: Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+

RELIABLE MAN (Chris Waller/Hugh Bowman), winner of the Prix du Jockey Club in 2011 for Alain de Royer-Dupre, trounced star colt It's A Dundeel to take the Queen Elizabeth on only his second Australian start.

However, the joy of a momentous victory quickly turned to concern and dismay for trainer Chris Waller as the 11-1 shot broke down as he raced to the line in the A$500,000 (£332,000) event.

Fifty yards from the line, Reliable Man - the highest-rated European racehorse ever imported into Australia - dipped badly before continuing to the line with jockey Hugh Bowman giving his signature winning salute.

"I didn't realise what had happened until after the line, otherwise I wouldn't have been carrying on like a pork chop," Bowman said.

He earlier told the horse's owners he felt the horse change stride 50 metres out, but hadn't realised there was a problem until they slowed to a trot.

For Waller, the Queen Elizabeth typified a rollercoaster week. On Friday, the champion trainer went through the ordeal of an inquiry into positive swabs taken from three of his horses.

The inquiry totally exonerated him and he turned his attention to a race meeting he said he'd looked forward to more than most.

"I've never felt so good going into a day's racing," he said after the win, but before the injury to Reliable Man became apparent. "This is a serious horse, a really serious horse."

Within minutes though, Reliable Man was loaded into the horse ambulance and taken from the track to the Randwick Equine Centre. Vets later reported he had injured a tendon in his off-fore leg.

After enjoying a cosy run until the 300 metres when Bowman made his winning move, Reliable Man beat 2-7 favourite It's A Dundeel by two and a half lengths.

Also on Saturday

Randwick: Sydney Cup (Group 1 hcap) 2m, turf, 3yo+

Another big victory for a former European horse as 11-1 chance Mourayan (Robert Hickmott/Hugh Bowman), who starter his career with John Oxx, took this A$500,000 (£332,000) prize.

Winning owner was Lloyd Williams, who claimed the latest of his three Melbourne Cup triumphs with Green Moon last year.

Bowman had Mourayan racing midfield on the rails before he was eased to the centre of the track and outstayed Tasmanian galloper Norsqui.

Randwick: Champagne Stakes (Group 1) 1m, turf, 2yo

Some positive news for Sheikh Mohammed down under as 6-4 favourite Guelph (Peter Snowden/Kerrin McEvoy) touched off Fuerza in a last-ditch triumph.

Darley has now won three of the past four runnings of the Champagne Stakes following victories by Skilled (2010) and Helmet (2011).

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