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Impose - Profile of a Champion
returned for the autumn in the Apollo Stakes at Randwick in late February. Kasharo led
Enjoy Dancing then Stargazer, Not Related and Quick Score with Super Impose near the tail
of the 11 horse field. Passing the 600m Kasharno raced well clear of Enjoy Dancing then
Quick Score and Stargazer with Not Related wide with Super Impose who was making ground.
Inside the 200m Enjoy Dancing joined the leader but soon Quick Score challenged followed
by Stargazer with Super Impose starting to power down the centre of the track. By the
final 100m Quick Score had raced away as Super Impose moved to second place with Not
Related running on. At the post Quick Score was 2 1/2 lengths in front from Super Impose
with Not Related close up in third. While it wasn't a victory it was a good return to
racing for the 7yo despite losing his off fore plate during the race.
Three weeks later Super Impose lined up for the Chipping Norton Stakes attempting his second straight victory in the race. By the 600m Shavano Miss led Kinjite then Stargazer as Super Imp0ose was pocketed along the rails at the rear of the 10 runners. Around the turn Shavano Miss drifted wide as Kinjite and Quick Score made ground near the rail with Prince Salieri and Mannerism out wider with Super Impose desperately looking for gaps near the rail. At the 200m Quick Score and Kinjite hit the front but Super Impose was out and charging home along the inside rail. With 150m left Quick Score, Kinjite and Super Impose came away to fight it out from Mannerism. Slowly Super Impose gained the upper hand to draw away to win by a half length from Quick Score with Kinjite third.
Super Impose was then 5th in the Ranvet Stakes with My Eagle Eye nosing out Rough Habit with Stylish Century third before heading to the Ajax Stakes on Golden Slipper day. Rapan Boy led past the 800m from Blalock's Bull and Blue Boss while Super Impose was pocketed on the rail near the rear. On straightening Blue Boss joined Rapan Boy with Mighty Rimu as Alderson started to fly home from midfield while Super Impose was still blocked behind a wall of horses. By the 200m Alderson hit the front while Super Impose was still trying to get clear. With 100m to go Alderson raced away to win by a length from Power Chief as Super Impose charged home for fifth beaten only 2 1/2 lengths while carrying 60kg.
It was then on to the Doncaster Handicap this time burdened with 62.5kg. Again he drew wide and again Darren Beadman had the mount. On settling Western Chorus and Soho Square led Blue Boss with Super Impose dropping out to last. On straightening Western Chorus and Soho Square were still in front with Quick Score and Prince Salieri putting in runs as Super Impose started to run on down the centre of the track closer to the outside rail than the inside. The lightweight Soho Square (47.5kg) raced clear 100m to go as Quick Score, Prince Salieri and Old Role gave chase with Super Impose still finishing on down the outside. In the final 50m Soho Square fought on strongly to win by a long neck to Old Role with a head to Prince Salieri third and a similar margin to Kinjite fourth with Super Impose only two lengths from the winner in 6th place. Two days later Super Impose lined up again in the WFA Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Turning for home My Eagle Eye took the lead from Aquidity as Rough Habit ran on with Super Impose making his run out wide. With 200m left Rough Habit hit the front from My Eagle Eye with Super Impose trying to bridge the gap. In the run to the post Rough Habit held on by a half length to My Eagle Eye with Aquidity just edging Super Impose out of third place. Super Impose was again spelled.
Super Impose returned to racing as an 8yo and his fans were delighted to see him return for his 5th season of racing. He had a new rider for the start of his campaign C Munce who had recently joined the Freedman stable from Queensland. First up he tackled the Warwick Stakes going for his third straight win in the event. Super Impose raced midfield through the event following Shaftesbury Avenue but lost ground when they sprinted on straightening. By the 200m Shaftesbury Avenue was well clear as Quick Score then Super Impose started to chase. In the run to the line Super Impose had too much of a break winning by a length from Super Impose with Quick Score third. Next Super Impose took on the Chelmsford and despite not being able to win at previous attempts he was sent out the 9/10 fav. Approaching the 700m Baanya Boy led Dr Grace then Super Impose and Quick Score with a break to Val D'Arno as the pace quickened. By the 600m Dr Grace had moved up outside Baanya Boy with Super Impose in a pocket on the rails as Quick Score moved to the outside. Passing the 300m Baanya Boy led as Dr Grace gave chase with Super Impose still pocketed and Quick Score starting to finish hard down the outside. Super Impose was severely checked by the 200m losing many lengths as he avoided the heels of Baanya Boy with Dr Grace and Quick Score putting in their claims. At the 100m Dr Grace hit the front from Baanya Boy with Quick Score only a half length behind as Super Impose was finally out and starting to sprint though well behind them. In the final 50m Dr Grace held a determined challenge from Quick Score to win by a neck with Super Impose just over a length away in third.
Super Impose's run was impressive enough for punters to send him out as 1/1 fav in a classy field in the Hill Stakes a fortnight later at WFA. He settled in last place inside Better Loosen Up with the pair five lengths off the leaders in a slowly run race. By the 1200m Lord Revenir led as the field starting to string out with Super Impose still last 10 lengths from the leader. By the 800m Super Impose had moved up along the rails to be 6th again only five lengths off the pace. The field sprinted by the 600m as Super Impose moved to the outside for the run home. Around the home turn Lord Revenir narrowly led Play or Pay with Muirfield Village three wide and Super Impose fanning four wide. By the 200m the lightly weighted 3yo (48.5kg) Muirfield Village hit the front with Super Impose in hot pursuit. With 50m left Super Impose briefly hit the front but the 3yo fought back strongly. In the run to the line they went stride for stride with Muirfield Village regaining the lead in the last stride to win by a head with two lengths back to Better Loosen Up in third.
The Epsom was the next run. With 61.5kg Super Impose was sent out at 7-1 with most thinking it unlikely that he could win. Prince of Praise settled in from as Super Impose dropped out to last nearly 15 lengths away. By the 800m Super Impose started to creep forward but couldn't find a clear run and was well of the leaders as they turned for home. Over the rise with 250m to go Prince of Praise led as Southern States then Kinjite gave chase with Super Impose finally clear on the outside but in front of only 2 of the 14 runners. Inside the final 150m Kinjite hit the lead from Prince of Praise with two lengths to Paladin and Southern States then another three lengths to Super Impose charging home. Kinjite drew clear in the final stages to win from Prince of Praise with Palatin half a length back in third and a further half length to the gallant Super Impose in fourth place. It had turned out an impossible task but with luck in running and a gap appearing sooner things may have been different.
It was decided Super Impose needed a 2000m hit out in his lead up to the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup. Lee Freedman returned to Canberra where his family had started out training many years before for the Canberra Cup a Listed Quality Hcp. All was going well until the Friday before the race when a corn in his near fore was found but after being removed Super Impose was given the all clear to run before his ACT fans. Nothing was really given a chance to beat the champion in the 10 horse field and thats exactly how it played out. Around the home turn new jockey Mick Dittman couldn't hold him with the field any longer and Super Impose bounded away from the field. Good country galloper Galilei gave chase in the home straight but Super Impose was never out of second gear and literally cantered across the line 3 1/3 lengths clear with Flagstaff third.
Super Impose then headed back to Melbourne to try and make amends for his narrow defeat in the Cox Plate the previous year. However he was an outsider at 16-1 with new superstar and stablemate Naturalism expected to dominate the race. Not many Canberra Cup winners start let alone are expected to figure in the finish of a Cox Plate. Turning out of the straight Kinjite led from Burst then Coronation Day and Slight Chance followed by Naturalism and Palace Reign. Next came Muirfield Village around Sydeston and Mannerism followed by Prince Salieri and Let's Elope with Super Impose in front of Better Loosen Up and Rough Habit. By the 1200m Slight Chance had moved to the front from Kinjite as the rest of the field held their positions. Passing the 800m Kinjite was slightly in front from Slight Chance as Burst moved up on the outside from Coronation Day then Muirfield Village as Palace Reign moved closer with the field starting to pack as Super Impose moved out to start his run. Approaching the 400m Palace Reign fell bringing down Sydeston with Naturalism knuckling badly and dislodging his rider as Rough Habit was also put out of business when he was unable to avoid the fallen horses and riders but kept his feet. Better Loosen Up and Super Impose though wide shied from the fallen brigade as did Coronation Day. Turning for home the remaining nine runners were in two rows with Let's Elope around Muirfield Village, Kinjite and Slight Chance in front and Prince Salieri, Mannerism, Coronation Day, Better Loosen Up, Burst and Super Impose in the second row. On straightening Slight Chance and Kinjite led Let's Elope with Better Loosen Up trying to find a clear run and Super Impose winding up down the outside. With 100m to go Let's Elope hit the front narrowly as Better Loosen Up and Prince Salieri dived through to take the run inside the mare with Super Impose down the outside while Kinjite and Slight Chance battled on near the rail. In the run to the line Let's Elope was in front but rolled in as Super Impose charged on the outside to grab the lead to win by a head right on the post from Let's Elope with Kinjite third and Slight Chance fourth with Better Loosen Up fifth and Prince Salieri sixth. Better Loosen Up and Prince Salieri were severely checked when Let's Elope rolled in and a protest by Better Loosen Up was upheld with the amended Cox Plate placings being Super Impose first, Kinjite second and Slight Chance third with Better Loosen Up moving to fourth and Let's Elope back to fifth.
Super Impose had finally won the pinnacle of the Australian WFA racing calendar and finally a big win in Melbourne where he had not had the same following as in Sydney. In doing so he hit the top of the all time stakeswinner earnings and was still Australia's highest stakeswinning gelding until early in 2001 when Tie The Knot finally deposed him. Despite losing his near fore plate during the run he pulled up well with his next run the Melbourne Cup.
Super Impose had lost his 'rainmaker' tag in the last few seasons but for the Melbourne Cup Carnival the rain returned. On Cup Day as Flemington was deluged the track condition was downgraded to slow with three horses (My Eagle Eye, Let's Elope and Cross Swords) withdrawn due to the conditions but connections of the two crowd favourites Super Impose and Better Loosen Up (finally finding his best form after a lay off through injury) let them run. It was to be the last time Melbourne crowds would see either horse race.
Past the post the first time Super Impose was midfield following stablemate Subzero. By the 1200m he had drifted back along the rail as horses made early forward moves but was still on the heels of Subzero. With 700m to go was pulled out to make ground and was within striking distance but soon began to struggle in the boggy conditions. Subzero though revelled in the ground and stormed to the front with 250m to go to win easily from Veandercross and Castletown as Super Impose made ground from near the rear to finish 15th in the 21 horse field as equal topweight Better Loosen Up faired slightly better passing the post in 12th. Both were then sent for spells before heading to the autumn.
Better Loosen Up returned in the 1100m Irwin Stakes at Morphettville and despite the journey being well short of his best ran a brilliant race to be storming home at the finish beaten a head by top sprinter Hot Arch. Within days the elation of seeing the old horse return so well heartbreak as he again injured a tendon. Better Loosen Up immediately retired to Lindsay Park Stud to a paddock near David Hayes' residence on the property. Super Impose was preparing for his autumn campaign but with his joints showing signs of arthritis and the wear and tear of old age his retired was announced on Feb 16 1993 only a couple of days after his great rival.
Super Impose was retired to his owners property but has often been the guest of honour at many race meetings to lead the feature field out onto the track. He started in Sydney on Doncaster day but made two visits to Canberra for the Cup meetings and in 2000 led the Turnbull Stakes field including the current champion Sunline onto the track. The old horse seemed disappointed that he had to return down the race to the mounting yard as the race field headed to the starting gates.
Throughout his career Super Impose was known by many 'monikers'. Early he was known more for being a bridesmaid in big races then in 1990 he was making his name as Australia's best racehorse before the bleeding attack and rise to prominence of Better Loosen Up and finally after his mile wins it was asked if he was Australia's Best Miler ever. Champion seems to be the easiest way to encompass his great wins over the mile, his close up runs over the two miles and his memorable Cox Plate win.
Super Impose is one of the few horses that can boast a victory at all the city tracks in Melbourne and Sydney and that all those victories were in Stakes races. His best strike rate (apart from one start for one win at Canterbury) was Warwick Farm where he had four starts for three wins and a second. He won 6 from 15 starts at Randwick with 5 placings. Moonee Valley produced three starts one win and one placing with the unplaced effort being in an Open Hcp early in his career ironically when he was tried as a leader. At Flemington he started 14 times for 2 wins but had 8 placings at the track.
Super Impose raced for six full seasons with the only break in 1990 when he missed the two big spring races with his overall record being 74 race starts for 20 wins, 24 seconds and 8 thirds for prizemoney of $5,659,290. He won races from 1200m to 2400m and contested 56 races at Group or Listed ranking including his last 45 race starts from September 1989.