Epaulette 5-year-old Highly Decorated is the toast of the Northern Territories after scoring another runaway victory in the $200,000 Great Northern Darwin Cup (2050m).
One of the novelty attractions of Australian racing, the Darwin Cup seldom fails to produce an interesting headline and the victory of Highly Decorated is no exception.
Sent to post an $8.00 chance in the new season feature despite proving to be unbeaten since late April, the locally-trained gelding had the race won on the home-turn and ultimately went on to land Fannie Bay’s signature event by close on three lengths.
Illustrating the extent that world thoroughbred racing has shrunk is the fact that chasing Highly Decorated home in second place was the Japanese-bred 8-year-old Danon Roman (Jpn).
Third across the line was Noir De Rue, a 7-year-old son of Blackfriars.
Highly Decorated has been a sensation since transferring into the care of trainer Nicole Bruggemann after finishing last of 14 in a Benchmark 54 at Strathalbyn.
Though beaten on his Darwin debut over 1300 metres, Highly Decorated had racked-up six wins at Fannie Bay and Adelaide River before today’s success in the $200,000 event.
Following his Darwin Cup victory, Highly Decorated has now earned $297,900 for his connections, which comprise Mrs N J Bruggemann, Miss D P Stanborough, Mr D J Irwin, Miss J L Bruggemann & Mr S Collins.
Highly Decorated scored by two and three-quarter lengths under the winning ride of Jessie Philpot, with Danon Roman (Jpn) finishing a length clear of third placegetter Noir De Rue.
Winning time was 2:03.89 (Last 600m 0:36.85).
SPs on the 2021 Darwin Cup were $8.00, $17.00, and $13.00.