The greys contesting the Off The Track Subzero Handicap (Image: Racing Photos)
The red-hot run of Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra continued in the opener on Kennedy Oaks Day, as Linguist led all the way to victory in the DrinkWise Plate (1700m) under Linda Meech's riding. It was their 26th winner in the past two months, but also continued their hot week which saw them boast an Emirates Melbourne Cup Day double (Prezado, Odeon) on Tuesday, and a Kyneton Cup Day double (Manning Road, Tina Turban) on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Hugh Bowman flashed home for second for the sixth time this Melbourne Cup Carnival, this time having his first race ride on the Chris Waller-trained mare So Splendid. Later in the day, though, Bowman got on the board with his final ride of the week, when piloting Jorda to victory in the Kennedy Plate (1100m) for James Cummings, before he serves an 11-meeting suspension he incurred on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day and then a further five-meeting ban picked up on Thursday. Funnily enough, Bowman actually tied for the win in the jockeys' challenge on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day without a winner - he finished with seven points (three seconds and a third), level with Chris Symons.
The Off the Track Subzero Handicap (1400m), the greys' race, was won in thrilling style by the Mike Moroney-trained Tribal Wisdom. It continued the Patrick Moloney-Moroney-Rupert Legh form, the trio combining for seven winners in the past few weeks. Moroney certainly knows the bloodlines of the four-year-old Makfi gelding well too, as Tribal Wisdom's granddam Stella Artois is a half-sister to the trainer's 2000 Emirates Melbourne Cup winner Brew. Tribal Wisdom finished off in blistering fashion as Moloney got the galloper's head down on the line for a third win in 10 starts, having only debuted at the track in February this year.
He was a crucial part of a big story with an all-the-way winner on Oaks Day last year, and jockey Brenton Avdulla was at it again when steering Hellova Street to victory in the Group 3 TCL TV Stakes (1400m). The Scott Brunton-trained seven-year-old made it two Stakes wins from his past two Flemington starts, taking the gun Tasmanian horse's earnings north of $727,000 from 14 wins across 32 starts.
The Tim Hughes-trained One Hot Dane was denied a run in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) earlier in the spring when set to run first-up off a long spell, but third-up on Thursday, the Danerich gelding put a Racing.com Park maiden field to the sword to the tune of seven lengths. Yes, it was a $12,000 maiden - not a $200,000 G2 - but regardless he showed he still has got some speed, having run second to Stay With Me on his debut, also at Pakenham, back in the spring of 2015.
"We're known as summer trainers but we deliberately targeted the Spring Carnival this year." - Co-trainer Simon Zahra is a three-time Group 1-winning trainer in partnership with cousin Mat Ellerton - including a Golden Slipper - so he's rather humbly playing down the prowess of his Flemington team. But you can't play down the fact they have bagged five winners in three days, including a Emirates Cup Day double, and began Kennedy Oaks Day in fine fashion with the all-the-way win of Linguist. They can win a fourth G1 in partnership in Saturday's Emirates Stakes, with Tuesday winner Odeon on the back-up in the $2m feature.
"It's my shout tonight, and I owe Mike [Moroney] and his partner Karen a few drinks after they had me around for dinner last night." - Jockey Patty Moloney was certainly grateful for the feed on Wednesday night, and he delivered a good tip for the Moroneys and connections of Tribal Wisdom with a last-stride win in the greys' race.
"My wife said I had to be reserved because it's a Listed race!" - the usual extravagant celebrations of Rosehill trainer Gary Moore were tempered on Thursday, despite an upset win in the Listed Seppelt Wines Stakes (1800m). But Moore might get back to his turf-storming best at Sandown, if he can pinch the G2 Sandown Guineas with the All Too Hard colt.
Andreas Wohler - Mr Garcia was his first Melbourne Cup Carnival week winner at Flemington since Protectionist's dominant Cup win in 2014.
Patrick Moloney - Of his past nine winners, seven have been for trainer Mike Moroney in the Rupert Legh 'lightning' colours (or the Chautauqua colours, if you like). The other two? Aboard Rich Charm for Udyta Clarke. Tribal Wisdom saw him salute for Moroney/Legh once more in the greys' race.
Linda Meech - First Melbourne Cup Carnival week winner at Flemington, after guiding Linguist home in the opener
Damian Lane - 800th career winner, with the victory of Another Coldie.
Ball Of Muscle - First win since May 2015. At that stage of his career, he had eight wins from 13 starts. Seventeen winless runs ensued, albeit G1 and G2 placings in that period. On Thursday, he smashed the Listed Absolut Stakes (1000m) field to break the drought.
Flemington crowd - 63,673 (up from 60,888 last year).