Might and Power

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Might and Power
Sire Zabeel
Grandsire Sir Tristram (IRE)
Dam Benediction
Damsire Day Is Done
Sex Gelding
Foaled 6 October 1993
Country New Zealand
Colour Bay/Brown
Breeder Windsor Park Stud
Owner Nick Moraitis
Trainer Jack Denham
Record 33: 15-7-1
Earnings $5,226,286
Major wins
Group One
Caulfield Cup (1997)
Melbourne Cup (1997)
Mercedes Classic (1998)
AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1998)
Doomben Cup (1998)
Caulfield Stakes (1998)
Cox Plate (1998)
Awards
World Champion Stayer (1997)
Australian Horse of the Year (1998 & 1999)
Honours
Australian Racing Hall of Fame
Last updated on 25 October 2009

Might and Power (foaled 1993) is a New Zealand bred, Australian owned and trained Thoroughbred racehorse who was named Australian Horse of the Year in 1998 and 1999. As a four-year-old, Might And Power won the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, and returned at five to become only the second horse in the history of Australian racing to win both Cups and the Cox Plate. He also won a number of other weight-for-age races in this period, including the Mercedes Classic, the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and the Doomben Cup. A strong, free-striding front-runner, he broke course records in winning the Caulfield Cup, the Doomben Cup, and the Cox Plate, and won a number of races by big margins.[1]

Breeding[edit]

Might and Power was foaled at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand. He was by Zabeel out of the Irish mare Benediction,[2] whose 13 foals for nine winners also included the stakeswinners Matter Of Honour (by Casual Lies) and Bastet (by Giant's Causeway) and the city winners Scud (by Dance Floor) and Miss Priority (by Kaapstad). In turn, Miss Priority (a three-quarter sister to Might And Power) produced the stakeswinners Miss Power Bird (by Mukaddamah) and Lucky Owners (by Danehill), who was a champion in Hong Kong.[3] Benediction was named New Zealand Broodmare of the Year in 1998 and 1999.[4]

Racing career[edit]

Two and three year old season: 1995-1997[edit]

Might and Power made his debut late in his two-year-old season, and won his first race on 24 July 1996, at his third start. Spelled after one more start, he returned in the new year, and, once stepped up to 1,900 metres, won back-to-back restricted races at Canterbury. Up in grade, he finished second to the multiple Group One winner Intergaze in the Canterbury Guineas, seventh in the Rosehill Guineas, and was defeated by just over a length when fourth in the AJC Derby after suffering severe interference. Seven days later, as a short-priced favourite, he won the Frank Packer Plate by six lengths.

Four year old season: 1997-1998[edit]

Might And Power resumed in the Show County Quality, over 1,200 metres (6 furlongs) and came from near the tail of the field to defeat the Caulfield Guineas winner Alfa and the stakeswinning sprinter Armidale. He then finished second to Galactic Valley in the Tramway Handicap and Quick Flick Shannon Quality and was beaten less than three lengths in the Epsom Handicap, but Brian York lost the ride to Jim Cassidy. Stepping up from 1,600 to 2,400 metres for the Caulfield Cup, Cassidy rode Might And Power and allowed him to stride freely and at the home turn he was well clear of his opposition. In winning by the extraordinary margin of seven-and-a-half lengths he broke the course record. The rest of the field was headed by the 1995 winner Doriemus.

After such an emphatic win, betting markets for the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup were hastily rearranged, with Might and Power being installed as a short-priced favourite for both events. His trainer, Jack Denham, who had Filante set for the Cox Plate, elected to bypass the Valley feature with Might And Power and go into the Melbourne Cup without another run. At Flemington, Might And Power was to carry 56 kilograms (8 st 11 lb) having received a penalty of three-and-a-half kilos (a modern record) for his win in the Caulfield Cup. This placed him just one kilo below weight-for-age for a four-year-old male horse at 3,200 metres, and within 1.5 kilograms of Doriemus, who had won the race in 1995. If Might And Power were successful, it would be the highest weight carried to victory by a four-year-old since Gurner's Lane in 1982.

Despite these obstacles, as well as several European stayers and tackling the extreme distance for the first time, several large bets were placed on Might And Power on the day of the race. Starting favourite, he led, and withstood three distinct waves of challenges - Crying Game at the 1,600-metre point, Linesman on the home turn, and Doriemus over the final 200 metres. After seeing off Linesman, Might and Power led by more than two lengths with 300 metres left to run, but Doriemus emerged on the outside. Edging closer and closer, Doriemus appeared likely to score with 50 metres to go, but Might And Power found again in the final strides. In the tightest of finishes, after which Greg Hall, on Doriemus, waved his whip in salute, the photo showed Might and Power had held on.

At the end of the year, Might and Power was named World Champion Stayer.

Returning in the new year, Might And Power ran third behind the Group One winning sprinters Special Dane and Al Mansour in Orr Stakes, but was beaten as favourite by the reigning Cox Plate winner, Dane Ripper, in the St George Stakes, and a minor injury forced him out of the Australian Cup (also won by Dane Ripper). Back in Sydney, Might And Power ran second to the Australian Guineas winner Gold Guru in the Ranvet Stakes, but connections were unhapppy with Jim Cassidy's ride, and Brian York again took over.

Back to full fitness, and well-rated by York, Might And Power recorded fast time and defeated Gold Guru and Doriemus by five lengths in the Mercedes Classic. This was the beginning of a patch of remarkable form, where he won four weight-for-age races in a row by a combined margin of more than 22 lengths. At Randwick, three weeks later, Might and Power faced a field of six in the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which included the multiple Group One winners Juggler, Champagne, Catalan Opening, and Intergaze, but it was a one-act affair as he won by an 10½ lengths. Taken to Queensland, he defeated the Group One winner Summer Beau by 5¾ lengths in the Hollindale Cup, and beat Intergaze by just over a length and broke the course record in winning the Doomben Cup.

Five year old season: 1998-1999[edit]

Might And Power's winning run came to an end when beaten on a heavy track in the Warwick Stakes, but, stepped up to 1,600 metres, defeated Juggler second-up in Chelmsford Stakes. Three weeks later, Might And Power started favourite in the George Main Stakes but faded badly in the straight. The poor run resulted from a virus, and his spring campaigned appeared to be in jeopardy. Brian York was again replaced by Jim Cassidy, however, and the horse's campaign continued in Melbourne, in the Caulfield Stakes. Shane Dye led on the multiple Group One winner Tycoon Lil, but Cassidy bided his time on Might And Power, in second place, and surged to the front over the closing stages to win by just over two lengths.

Back to top form, Might And Power was installed 11/8-on favourite (approximately $1.70) for the Cox Plate. His trainer, Jack Denham, had been runner-up in the two previous editions, with Filante, and victory would give Might And Power a place in history. He would become only the second horse, after Rising Fast in 1954, to win the Cox Plate and the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, and the first reigning Melbourne Cup winner since Phar Lap in 1931 to win the Cox Plate.[5] As a result, nearly 40,000 racegoers packed Moonee Valley racecourse on 24 October 1998. Heading down the straight for the first time, rival jockeys pressed through on the inside in an attempt to clutter him behind other horses, but Jim Cassidy swung Might And Power four-deep on the turn out of the straight, and took over down the side of the course. Setting a strong pace, the rest of the field began to tire behind him, and Might And Power turned for home two lengths clear. AJC Derby placegetter Northern Drake loomed up strongly, at 100/1, but Might And Power held on comfortably to win by just over a length in course record time.

Two weeks later, in what would prove the last win of his career, Might And Power beat a sub-standard field by seven lengths in the VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Owner Nick Moraitis was invited to run Might And Power in the Japan Cup but was unable to secure a direct flight, and elected to send the horse for a spell.

In the new year, Might And Power bowed a tendon in training, and was off the scene for 18 months.

Six and seven year old season: 1999-2001[edit]

Unraced at six, Might And Power returned in September 2000 at age seven but failed to beat a runner-up home in his two starts and was quickly retired. He has made numerous public appearances and now resides at Living Legends in Woodlands Historic Park, Greenvale, Victoria.[6]

Race record[edit]

1995-96 Season as a Two Year Old
Result Date Race Venue Group Distance Weight (kg) Jockey Winner/2nd
4th 12 Jun 1996 2yo Hcp Colts & Geldings Canterbury NA 1290 m 53.5 K. Forrester 1st - Imprison
5th 14 Jul 1996 2yo Hcp Restricted Rosehill NA 1300 m 54 J. Marshall 1st - Spy Cracker
Won 24 Jul 1996 2yo Hcp Restricted Randwick NA 1400 m 53.5 J. Marshall 2nd - Torbellino
1996-97 Season as a Three Year Old
Result Date Race Venue Group Distance Weight (kg) Jockey Winner/2nd
2nd 02 Aug 1996 3yo Hcp Restricted Rosehill NA 1500 m 55 J. Marshall 1st - Spy Cracker
12th 11 Jan 1997 3yo Hcp Restricted Rosehill NA 1350 m 51 J. Morris 1st - Purist
2nd 26 Jan 1997 3yo Hcp Restricted Randwick NA 1800 m 54.5 J. Cassidy 1st - Sir Markie
Won 09 Feb 1997 3yo & Up Hcp Restricted Canterbury NA 1900 m 55.5 J. Cassidy 2nd - Myban Star
Won 16 Feb 1997 3yo & Up Hcp Restricted Canterbury NA 1900 m 54 J. Cassidy 2nd - Nimzo Indian
2nd 01 Mar 1997 Canterbury Guineas Rosehill G1 1800 m 55.5 J. Cassidy 1st - Intergaze
7th 15 Mar 1997 Rosehill Guineas Rosehill G1 2000 m 55.5 J. Cassidy 1st - Tarnpir Lane
4th 29 Mar 1997 Australian Derby Randwick G1 2400 m 55.5 B. York 1st - Ebony Grosve
Won 05 Apr 1997 Frank Packer Plate Randwick G3 2000 m 54 B. York 2nd - Sakti
1997-98 Season as a Four Year Old
Result Date Race Venue Group Distance Weight (kg) Jockey Winner/2nd
Won 23 Aug 1997 Show Country Quality Warwick Farm LR 1200 m 53 B. York 2nd - Alfa
2nd 06 Sep 1997 Tramway Stakes Randwick G3 1400 m 54.5 B. York 1st - Galactic Valley
2nd 20 Sep 1997 Shannon Stakes Rosehill G3 1500 m 55.5 B. York 1st - Quick Flick
8th 04 Oct 1997 Epsom Handicap Randwick G1 1600 m 54 B. York 1st - Iron Horse
Won 18 Oct 1997 Caulfield Cup Caulfield G1 2400 m 52.5 J. Cassidy 2nd - Doriemus
Won 04 Nov 1997 Melbourne Cup Flemington G1 3200 m 56 J. Cassidy 2nd - Doriemus
3rd 14 Feb 1998 C F Orr Stakes Caulfield G1 1400 m 57 J. Cassidy 1st - Special Dane
2nd 28 Feb 1998 St George Stakes Caulfield G2 1800 m 57 J. Cassidy 1st - Dane Ripper
2nd 21 Mar 1998 Ranvet Stakes Rosehill G1 2000 m 57 J. Cassidy 1st - Gold Guru
Won 04 Apr 1998 Mercedes Classic Rosehill G1 2400 m 57 B. York 2nd - Gold Guru
Won 25 Apr 1998 AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes Randwick G1 2000 m 57 B. York 2nd - Champagne
Won 13 May 1998 Hollindale Stakes Gold Coast G2 1800 m 57 B. York 2nd - Summer Beau
Won 23 May 1998 Doomben Cup Doomben G1 2020 m 57 B. York 2nd - Intergaze
1998-99 Season as a Five Year Old
Result Date Race Venue Group Distance Weight (kg) Jockey Winner/2nd
4th 22 Aug 1998 Warwick Stakes Warwick Farm G2 1400 m 58 B. York 1st - What Can I Say
Won 05 Sep 1998 Chelmsford Stakes Randwick G2 1600 m 58 B. York 2nd - Juggler
7th 26 Sep 1998 George Main Stakes Randwick G1 1600 m 58 B. York 1st - Dracula
Won 10 Oct 1998 Yalumba Stakes Caulfield G1 2000 m 58 J. Cassidy 2nd - Tycoon Lil
Won 24 Oct 1998 Cox Plate Moonee Valley G1 2040 m 58 J. Cassidy 2nd - Northern Drake
Won 07 Nov 1998 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes Flemington G2 2500 m 60 J. Cassidy 2nd - Oregon Star
1999-00 Season as a Six Year Old
Result Race
Nil Might and Power was unraced as a six year old
2000-01 Season as a Seven Year Old
Result Date Race Venue Group Distance Weight (kg) Jockey Winner/2nd
11th 02 Sep 2000 Tramway Stakes Rosehill G3 1350 m 60 J. Cassidy 1st - Mr Innocent
15th 14 Sep 2000 Shannon Stakes Rosehill G2 1500 m 60 J. Cassidy 1st - Al Mansour

Pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of Might and Power (NZ)
Sire
Zabeel (NZ)
1986
Sir Tristram (Ire)
1971
Sir Ivor (USA)
1965
Sir Gaylord (USA)
Attica (USA)
Isolt (USA)
1961
Round Table (USA)
All My Eye (GB)
Lady Giselle (Fr)
1982
Nureyev (USA)
1977
Northern Dancer (Can)
Special (USA)
Valderna (Fr)
1972
Val de Loir (Fr)
Derna (Fr)
Dam
Benediction (Ire)
1985
Day Is Done (Ire)
1979
Artaius (USA)
1974
Round Table (USA)
Stylish Pattern (USA)
Headin' Home (Ire)
1971
Habitat (USA)
Miss Doree (GB)
Cathedra (GB)
1976
So Blessed (GB)
1965
Princely Gift (GB)
Lavant (GB)
Collyria (GB)
1956
Arctic Prince (GB)
Eyewash (GB) (Family: 6-e)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]