A decade after winning his first Caulfield Cup, Godolphin trainer Saaed bin Suroor has triumphed again with international visitor Best Solution producing a gutsy performance to take out the world’s richest 2400m handicap on turf.
In a desperate finish to Saturday’s $5 million race, top weight Best Solution held off a charge from Homesman to win by a half-head.
Having given the global Godolphin operation its second Caulfield Cup after All The Good’s 2008 success, Best Solution is now on a course to try to win owner Sheikh Mohammed a first Melbourne Cup.
“It was his decision to send him to Australia and it’s great to see Best Solution, after winning two Group Ones in Germany, come to Australia to win another Group One,” bin Suroor said.
“It’s a brilliant race and a brilliant result.
“He’s a class horse.
“This horse has improved a lot this year, physically and mentally he’s a better horse than ever.
“That’s why I had confidence to send him to this race. I thought before the race if you sit third or fourth, I’m sure you’ll win.
“Luckily when I saw him there close, I thought I’m sure he’ll win.”
Ridden by Pat Cosgrave, Best Solution ($12) was slightly slow to begin and was wide out of the first turn before getting a spot one off the fence in fourth.
When The Taj Mahal charged to the lead approaching the 600m, Cosgrave set Best Solution alight to take over and, under 57.5kg, he kept running.
Homesman ($9.50) was bridging the gap with every stride while another international visitor The Cliffsofmoher ($6.50) ran into third, 1-3/4-lengths away.
Favourite Kings Will Dream ($5.50) finished sixth.
Best Solution’s Cup success follows on from Benbatl’s Group One win last Saturday in the Caulfield Stakes for the same trainer and jockey combination.
For visiting jockey Cosgrave it was a seventh Group One win with four this year, including three on Best Solution.
“I’m in dreamland now,” Cosgrave said.
“I won a Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot (in 2011). That was a pretty big day. But coming across the world and winning a $5 million race, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
But the jockey deflected praise to Best Solution.
“I’m surprised I won because of the work I had to do early on,” he said.
“I basically was last out of the gates. I was six deep around the first bend and then I just raced on heels then down the back because they went slow.
“He did everything the wrong way but he won and good horses know how to win.”