Emirates Park-raced Mossfun is now in the Australian racing annals as the 2014 Group 1 ATC Golden Slipper Stakes winner after a miraculous performance that saw her noticeably miss the start yet still manage to come out victorious in the world's most valuable 2-year-old event.
Confidently backed into $5.50 second favourite for the $3.5 million feature, Mossfun's chances of winning appeared to be ominous when leaving the barrier a good length behind all of her opposition and settling well back in the field. However, a rail hugging run around the perilous Rosehill home-turn witnessed the exceptional filly find herself in a challenging position before going on to score a thrilling success.
Despite giving Australia's finest 2-year-olds a clear advantage at the start, Mossfun scored by three-quarters of a length from the Group 1 MRC Blue Diamond Stakes winner Earthquake. One length separated the runner-up from the minor placegetter Bring Me The Maid, with the remainder of the field finishing another two lengths in arrears and more.
Winning rider James McDonald said after the win: "I actually can't believe it. It didn't all go to plan. She just bobbed as the gates opened. I just had no choice [but to ride the race as he did]. I still can't believe I won it."
The success of Mossfun comes 25 years after His Excellency Nasser Lootah first purchased Emirates Park and commenced his sustained support of the Australian breeding industry. On two previous occasions, with Shamekha (in 2003) and Boom Time Savings (in 2006), the stud's first racing colours of red, blue and white have been carried into fourth place in the breed-shaping event. However, on this occasion it was the green and white colours of his son Hussain that were carried to such an historic victory.
The Golden Slipper success of Mossfun is a monumental result for CEO Trevor Lobb and the Emirates Park team he has assembled since joining the operation in 2011. It was Lobb who purchased Mossfun for $85,000 at the 2013 Australian Easter Yearling Sale. Her earnings are now close on $2.5 million, while her value as a broodmare is priceless as the latest winner of Australia's revered juvenile event.