Perth's summer festival of racing is set for a promotional bonanza with today's $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m) winner All American expected to join an all-star cast heading west for this year's carnival.
Trainer David Hayes, who revelled in the win of All American after a disastrous week at Flemington, confirmed All American was likely to now target Perth's racing riches after storming to victory over Bart Cummings' Cox Plate champ So You Think and Gold Salute.
In a major bonus for WA racing, Gold Salute and Emirates fourth place-getter, Sniper's Bullet, are also aimed at the $1 million Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m) in a fortnight.
Hayes, who has long enjoyed success at the Perth carnival, was at loggerheads with Racing Victoria stewards on the morning of this week's Melbourne Cup on Tuesday when they deemed his English import Changingoftheguard lame and scratched the horse.
He then lost Crown Oaks fancy Livia on the morning of that race on Thursday and his sprint star Nicconi lost a shoe and finished down the track in today's Patinack Farm Stakes.
He said All American would head to the Railway in better form than his stable star Niconero did last year before winning the Kingston Town Stakes. The young stallion may also tackle that 1800m race at Ascot on December 5.
"We set him for Perth and its the same money in Perth (as the Emirates) ... and gee whiz, it's hard to turn them out when they run like that," a delighted Hayes said.
"Nico wasn't as good as this at that stage I don't think. This was a brilliant win, while Niconero got beaten. He's had no luck all year, but he ran a brilliant time and he's been knocking on the door all spring.
"He got the runs he's been trying to get, he's a stallion and now he's a Group One winner and an outstanding two-year-old who's trained on at four. It's the biggest race he's been in for a while. These colts are pretty hard to get in form so when they're in form I think we should keep marching on.
"It was nice to win a big race. That's a proper race to win with a stallion prospect and that's a part of the game I really enjoy these days.
"The victory also continued a remarkable Flemington carnival for Melbourne Cup and Victoria Derby-winning jockey Corey Brown. Brown admitted to feeling flat when he arrived at the track after his big week, but All American's win soon had him abuzz all over again.
"It's just a thrill," Brown said after the race.
"To come down here and ride one Group One winner is great. I would have been happy after the derby just to go home with that, but then I've taken the Melbourne Cup and now the Emirates, it's just super.
"This horse has a life story where he's been nothing but trouble and can't seem to overcome that. He's done very much the same today and coming down to the half-mile he was all over their backs and pulling and doing silly little things.
"But he got the luck early on in the straight and dived through and hit the line really well. He'll go further and his turn of foot was just incredible today."
Australian racing's famous Hayes family has not won an Emirates since 1996 but won it six times in eight years from 1989.
In other news, Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Mark Kavanagh will this week consider a start for Raffaello in next Saturday's $350,000 TMB Printing Sandown Classic (2400m) after the stallion's impressive win in the third race today.
Jockey Michael Rodd revealed he had advised Kavanagh to spell Raffaello after he failed and finished fifth behind Rangirangdoo at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago.
But the trainer refused the advice and the victory capped an outstanding week for him at Flemington, with a winner on each day of the annual Melbourne Cup carnival.
Kavanagh believed the past couple of runs for Raffaello had not been run to suit him, but he praised the horse for his effort today while carrying the race top-weight of 58kg. He said he had spaced his races well enough for him to be able to tackle the Sandown race.
"The only worry was if there was going to be enough pace (today)," he said.
"But they got along at a decent bat and that was good, he's just better than those guys. He's been getting back and you can't win every week, but this race was tailor-made for him.
"He's not a bad horse this horse on his day. He's a horse on the way up and there's better races in him. He's a 2000m horse at this stage, maybe 2400m next week, who knows."