Vancouver's Overpass Claims $4million The Quokka
The biggest prize in Australia on Saturday, the inaugural $4,000,000 The Quokkka at Ascot, proved worthy of the build-up when Overpass clung to a desperate short-half-head margin over local idol Amelia’s Jewel.
Ridden by Josh Parr for Bjorn Baker, Overpass was always in the firing line while Amelia’s Jewel (Siyouni) and third-placed Bella Nipotina (Pride Of Dubai) were rocketing home from the tail of the field.
The 4yo son of Vancouver was making his first start of 2023 after a busy spring in which he ran in The Shorts, Premiere Stakes, The Everest, Golden Eagle, and The Hunter.
Despite winning just one stakes race, the 2022 Group II ATC Expressway Stakes, the Darby Racing colourbearer has banked $3,692,400 from a record of six wins and three seconds from 21 starts.
That is a good return on the $75,000 outlaid by Darby Racing / Will Johnson Bloodstock for the son of Vancouver from the Corumbene Stud draft at the 2020 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale Round 2.
Both trainer and jockey thought they had been beaten.
“What a thrill to win the inaugural Quokka, with such huge prizemoney on offer,” Parr said.
“I had a horse that was immaculately prepared for me. I was able to find the front on a horse that dictated terms and was always going to be difficult to run down.
“He got a bit lost on the home turn but dug deep for me. I could hear them coming and thought I had lost the race. I thought it was a hometown yell from the crowd. It was only when his name went up that I knew I had won.”
Bred by Corumbene Stud, Overpass is the best of four winners from the winning Exceed and Excel mare Walkway, who comes from the family of Australian Horse of the Year Northerly.
Walkway has a 2yo colt by Menari named Inca Trail and a yearling colt by Capitalist. After missing in 2021, Walkaway visited Vancouver last year.
After beginning his career at Coolmore Stud, Golden Slipper winner Vancouver now stands at Woodside Stud.