Super Impose

Super Impose

[soo-per-im-pohz]
Super Impose (October 5, 1984 - March 28, 2007) was a Thoroughbred racehorse who was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. In a career spanning 74 starts, Super Impose won eight Group One races and a then Australasian record $5.6 million in prize money. Trained throughout his career by Lee Freedman, and ridden in his Group One wins by Bruce Compton (once), Darren Gauci (once), Darren Beadman (five times), and Greg Hall (once), ‘Super’ created history in winning the AJC Epsom and Doncaster Handicaps two years in a row, in 1990 and 1991, and won the Cox Plate at his penultimate start as an eight-year-old, in 1992.

Breeding

Bred in New Zealand, Super Impose was a son of the multiple Group One winner Imposing (Todman-Hialeah), out of the unraced mare Pheroz Fancy (Taipan II-Pheroz Jewel). Pheroz Jewel was a stakeswinning mare in New Zealand who defeated Grey Way, while Todman was an explosive Australian racehorse who won the inaugural Golden Slipper in 1957. Super Impose, via Todman and Ritmar (dam of Taipan), had Star Kingdom blood on both sides of his pedigree. The imported Irish stallion was a dominant influence on Australian racing before the preponderance of Northern Dancer-line stallions, such as Danehill, in the 1990s. Taipan, via his sire Bold Ruler, also introduced powerful American-bred descendants of Nearco into the pedigree.

The beginnings (1986–1987)

The chestnut colt who would become Super Impose was selected by trainer Lee Freedman at the 1986 Trentham yearling sales, in New Zealand, for a small syndicate who paid $40,000. Interviewed for ‘Super Better Best’, along with Lee Freedman, managing part-owner Chris Biggins explains that Freedman had rung him from New Zealand and said that there were three horses he had liked at the sale. Freedman predicted that the first two would make ‘too much money’, while the third was a ‘beautiful Imposing horse’. The first two were sold to Bart Cummings, and became the multiple Group One winners Sky Chase and Beau Zam, while the third became Super Impose. He was unraced as a two-year-old.

Early career (1987–1989)

Super Impose entered training as a three-year-old, and made a winning debut in a maiden at provincial Seymour on December 28, 1987. In his next 15 starts, throughout 1988, Super Impose won an improvers at Benalla and recorded 10 placings before his breakthrough metropolitan victory in November’s Eclipse Stakes. This was quickly followed by wins in a Rosehill welter over 1,900 metres and the AJC Summer Cup, on Boxing Day. This three-race winning streak was the longest of his career. In the New Year, he ran second to Vo Rogue in the Orr Stakes, the St George Stakes, and the Australian Cup, and won the Carlyon Cup in record time in between.

The Melbourne Cup – Runner-up (1989)

His strong performances the previous season led to Super Impose being handicapped with 56 kilograms for the 1989 Melbourne Cup, and he ultimately carried the number ‘2’ saddlecloth, while the previous year’s winner, Empire Rose, was topweight with 56.5 kilograms. But with an inconclusive pedigree, rather than that of an out-an-out stayer, and some inconsistent lead-up form, ‘Super’ started at 25/1.

Well-ridden by Darren Gauci, Super Impose burst to the front in the home straight, and ‘had the race won’, according to Lee Freedman, but was run down close to home by his stablemate Tawrrific, who was carrying two kilograms less than Super Impose, and was ‘better equipped’ for two miles. Nonetheless, Freedman regarded the defeat as one of the horse’s greatest performances.

The champion miler (1990–1991)

Super Impose opened the New Year with a string of placings behind Street Ruffian, Princely Heart, Vo Rogue, Better Loosen Up, and Sydeston, and was scratched from his main mission, Rosehill’s Mercedes Classic (2,400 metres), as he had a history of poor performance on wet tracks.

Entered a week later in Randwick’s Doncaster Handicap (over the much shorter distance of 1,600 metres), and carrying topweight of 57 kilograms, the change of plans failed to faze Super Impose, who produced a stunning finishing burst from the tail of the field to overhaul Shaftesbury Avenue over the closing stages. This stunning finish would become his trademark in the big Randwick ‘mile’ races over the next 18 months.

In a golden period, Super Impose won 10 of his 18 starts, and created history in becoming the only horse to win the AJC’s Epsom and Doncaster Handicaps two years in a row, in 1990 and 1991. Nonetheless, this period, which saw Super Impose win six of his eight Group One races, was not without sensation or controversy. Fresh from winning the 1990 Epsom Handicap with 58.5 kilograms, Super Impose was expected to provide the main resistance to Better Loosen Up in the spring carnival’s feature races, but bled in the Caulfield Stakes. Not only did the automatic three-month ban force him out of the Cox Plate, connections were unable to accept the Japan Racing Association’s invitation to run in the Japan Cup. Compounding the disappointment, Better Loosen Up went on to win both races, and took an unassailable lead in Horse-of-the-Year calculations.

Facing the prospect of a lifetime ban if he bled for a second time, Super Impose resumed in the New Year, and quickly won three races, including back-to-back wins for new jockey Darren Beadman in the Chipping Norton and Ranvet Stakes. Seemingly back to his best, Super Impose then shocked the racing world by finishing ‘stone-motherless’ last in the Mercedes Classic, some 15 lengths from the winner. In ‘Super Better Best’, then Chief Steward John Schreck explains that they had considered ordering Super Impose to barrier trial before being permitted to race again. Instead, their vets examined Super Impose in the week leading up to the Doncaster Handicap, and ‘Fortunately, everything went right’. Super Impose won the Doncaster Handicap for the second time, and set up his shot at history in the spring's Epsom Handicap.

‘He’s going to do it, it’s history at Randwick!’ cried veteran racecaller John Tapp as Super Impose swept to the front in his second Epsom Handicap. In winning each of those races for the second time, he also set modern-day weight-carrying records of 61 kilograms in the Epsom Handicap and 59.5 kilograms in the Doncaster Handicap. Only a small number of horses have carried bigger weights to victory in the 140-year history of the two races, and only Gunsynd, who carried the equivalent of 60.5 kilograms in the 1972 Doncaster Handicap, has carried more weight to victory in either race since 1960. Following these wins, Super Impose was named Australia’s greatest-ever ‘miler’ by racing author Warwick Hobson, and the club named a bar in his honour in the public grandstand at Royal Randwick.

The veteran (1991–1993)

Now seven, and a veteran of 57 starts, Super Impose was sent to Melbourne for the 1991 spring carnival, and ran second to Shaftesbury Avenue, Surfers Paradise, and Let’s Elope in the Caulfield Stakes, the Cox Plate, and the Mackinnon Stakes. He then finished fourth in the Melbourne Cup under topweight of 60 kilograms, and conceded nine kilograms to the winner, Let’s Elope, and 6.5 and 7.5 kilograms, respectively, to the second and third placegetters.

‘Super’ showed glimpses of his best form in the New Year, including a rails-hugging win in the Chipping Norton Stakes, but his winning run came to an end in Randwick’s feature ‘miles’ when he finished sixth in the Doncaster Handicap under 62.5 kilograms and fourth in the spring’s Epsom Handicap under 61.5 kilograms.

Super Impose then broke an eight-race losing streak in the Canberra Cup, on his way to Melbourne for the Cox Plate of 1992. So easy was the win in that his jockey, Mick Dittman, slowed Super Impose to cantering pace approaching the finish line, more than three lengths clear of the runner-up.

The Cox Plate's capacity field of 14 consisted of Super Impose, the multiple Group One winners Let’s Elope, Better Loosen Up, Sydeston, Mannerism, Rough Habit, Naturalism, Kinjite, Slight Chance, Coronation Day, Prince Salieri, and Burst, the Group One winner Palace Reign, and the Group One placegetter Muirfield Village, and proved a race full of drama. Kinjite and Slight Chance alternated in the lead, with hot favourite Naturalism drifting toward midfield, and Let’s Elope, Better Loosen Up, and Super Impose near the rear. The pace was slow, and the field was tightly-packed entering the final 800 metres. Suddenly, Palace Reign clipped heels, and put Naturalism, Sydeston, and Rough Habit out of the race in a chain reaction, while the remainder of the field made for the home turn. Let’s Elope loomed up with ‘a mighty run out wide’, stalked by Super Impose, with Better Loosen Up in a pocket to the inside. In a thrilling finish, Better Loosen Up had to check when Let’s Elope rolled in, and Super Impose came at the leaders to Bryan Martin's memorable call of ‘Super! I think Super a nose to Let’s Elope in the Cox Plate’.

Super Impose finished his career with a fifteenth placing on an unsuitably wet track in Subzero’s Melbourne Cup, 10 days later, but fans simply displayed the reverse-side of their giant banner, which read ‘Bad luck Super. We still love you’. He was officially retired in February 1993.

In retirement (1993–2007)

Super Impose made guest appearances at various racetracks, including Royal Randwick for the Epsom and Doncaster Handicap parades, and Moonee Valley for a Night of Champions in 2005 with Subzero, Doriemus, Saintly, and Brew. Super Impose appeared small later in life, due to a sway back, common in old horses, but enjoyed running in the paddocks of Glenlogan Park Stud in Queensland as a ‘nanny’ to some of the farm's young horses.

Due to infirmities associated with old age, Super Impose was humanely euthanased in 2007 at the age of 22. He has been buried at Glenlogan Park Stud with a tribute stone and plaque erected in his memory.

In 2007, Super Impose was posthumously inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.

Pedigree

References

See also

Search another word or see super imposeon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature