It had to be decided in the stewards room but when correct weight was given, Preferment was announced as the winner of the Australian Cup (2000m).
The win was his third at Group 1 level and likes his wins in the Victoria Derby and Turnbull Stakes, all three occurred at Flemington.
Preferment was beaten a short half head on the line by Awesome Rock but jockey Hugh Bowman was adamant he did not have full opportunity to get past the leader as it continued to shift out from the inside.
Bowman argued that Awesome Rock’s shift didn’t allow him to full test the son of Zabeel until the concluding stages when he made significant ground on Awesome Rock.
Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey agreed and Preferment was awarded the feature win, Chris Waller’s 12th Group 1 of the season.
The $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes is now firmly on the radar for Preferment according to Waller.
“He’s tremendous over 2000m – I’m not convinced he’s a 2500m horse despite being a Victoria Derby winner,” he said.
“He was dominant in the Turnbull Stakes, today was a fantastic performance second-up. He’s a good, tough colt and he proved it.
“The Queen Elizabeth is firmly on his agenda – he deserves to be there. He’s a genuine weight-for-age 2000m performer.”