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Top 10 Stayers Heading into the 2022/23 Season

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

Welcome to the third rendition of the top 10s heading into the new season, this one focusing on stayers. These are 4yo horses or older that perform at their best at distances of 2000m or above. Let’s get into it.


10. Grand Promenade (7yoG)

Coming in at number ten is Grand Promenade, who was a very progressive horse in 2021 culminating with a nice win in the Bar Cummings. His Melbourne Cup run was valiant, sitting 3 wide on a quick tempo on the sweeping bend, having to work unnecessarily hard for the distance he was travelling, harder than any horse in the race and still worked home very nicely for 6th. I feel 2400m might be his pet trip though, as he seems to perform his best around distances that range.


9. Knights Order (8yoG)

At nine we have Sydney Cup winner Knights Order, probably our second most accredited two miler currently in training. He won the Sydney Cup and before that, the Brisbane Cup, both in dominant fashion but is yet to perform within Victoria. However, he has received a longer break heading into the spring this year but there are real queries on if he can run anti-clockwise as he struggled overseas as well on those tracks.


8. Hoo Ya Mal (4yoS)

At eight we have derby placegetter Hoo Ya Mal, a very intriguing horse that will hit our shores for the Melbourne Cup and will be trained by Gai. He provides a bit of x-factor and seems he will be good enough to mix with our stayers, even if our stayers are improving. I do wonder if he will get the two miles as the trainer did not originally think he would be a derby horse but only one way to find out.


7. Spanish Mission (7yoS)

At seven we have the best performed two-miler in the country Spanish Mission. He pushed Stradivarius last season in Europe and came out for a strong third in the Melbourne Cup. He stays all day which is why his autumn campaign was somewhat confusing but he is an entire so that may explain some of it. He has to be oe of the leading chances from an Australian point of view and with Incentivise and Verry Elleegant not running, can he go two better?


6. Realm of Flowers (6yoM)

At six may be somewhat of a headscratcher to some but Realm of Flowers possesses a serious turn of foot. Her win in the Andrew Ramsden was very impressive, beating Grand Promenade and Miami Bound incredibly comfortably. Her spring was solid and with a strong performance in the Bart Cummings, she looked on track for a strong performance in the Cup but injury struck. They have decided to run it back this season and for good reason as she will have a low weight, presuming she can qualify.


5. Gold Trip (6yoS)

At five we have Gold Trip who is somewhat of an unknown. He was supposed to get run in the Cox Plate last spring but injury concerns ruled him out of that. The Maher & Eustace team have been patient with him since and after some solid trials, he went very well in his first up run with the high weight and below his best distance (we think). The Cox Plate seems the target if the Victorian Stewards will let him race. He would prefer it wet as well given his 4th in the Arc came on a bottomless surface.


4. Hitotsu (4yoS)

At four we have my 3yo of the year in Hitotsu who put together one of the best 3yo seasons ever compared to others against his own age group but he did not race the older horses, which holds him back from being higher but there is no denying his talent. It appears the 3-year-olds he beat were not terrible, with horses like Alegron, Forgot You and Lightsaber, none of which are world beaters but all are solid. He will miss the spring but I am excited to see him in the autumn as the easy option would have been to retire him as a stallion.


3. Montefilia (5yoF)

I still feel Montefilia is underrated by the majority of racing fans but I do suspect that is starting to change. She is a 4 time group 1 winner, with the highlight being her 2 length victory in the Ranvet Stakes over Verry Elleegant where they ran significantly faster than Anamoe on the same day.It seems she will be targeting the Cups but she will get little favours at the weights but she is a very handy horse who should be able to cope.


2. Duais (5yoF)

While she struggled to show it in the spring, as a lot of 4 year old mares tend to do, Duais came alive in the Autumn, where she probably should have won the Chipping Norton. She then followed it up with two awesome victories in the Australia Cup and Tancred Stakes beating some handy horses. She could not deliver in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes but the track was bottomless and the majority of the fancied horses could not handle it. Due to some very handy horses missing the spring, she has the chance to win a few more group 1 races and establish herself as the premiere WFA horse with a win in the Cox Plate.


1. Incentivise (6yoG)

What Incentivise did in 2021 was freakish. It was hard to believe he was getting beat in a Toowoomba maiden back in March to winning 3 Group 1s with a nice picket fence winning streak. His win in the Caulfield Cup was the best of the 21st century in that race, covering by far the most ground, wide on speed and put them away effortlessly. His Melbourne Cup run was freakish as well, sitting wide on a fast tempo (5th fastest time in history) and still managed to run second at his first go at that distance. Unfortunately, that race has put him out for what will be over 12 months due to his injury but even if he is not back to his best come the autumn, that could still be enough to be the best stayer in the land.


Hons: Alegron, Delphi, Floating Artist, Point Nepean, Serpentine


There you have the top 10 stayers across Australia and New Zealand currently. Did we get it right? Let us know what you think however you so choose. Next article will be the top 10 3 year olds.

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