Fierce Impact winning from Russian Camelot (Image: Racing Photos)
He may not have won but Russian Camelot showed why he was installed as favourite for the Cox Plate after just five starts when he suffered a wide run and was only narrowly beaten by the well-backed Fierce Impact in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
In a race marred by a mid-race injury to last year's winner Gatting, Fierce Impact was given a lovely ride by Mark Zahra just off the pace and he finished too strongly to make it a second elite-level win after scoring in the Cantala Stakes over the same course last spring.
As for Russian Camelot, he was caught wide throughout and he went to the leaders before the turn out in the middle of the track. Fierce Impact ran by him in the later stages, but notably he was fighting back again right on the line.
So Si Bon continued his improvement to run third, just ahead of prominent Cups horse Master Of Wine.