|W.S. Cox Plate wins
For an awesome, jaw-dropping powerhouse display to win a W.S. Cox Plate, nothing matches Might and Power’s win.
As race caller Bryan Martin called so perfectly as he powered to victory - “the earth starts to rumble” – those in the stands felt like the foundations shook as he smashed the track record in a time of 2:03.07 to the roars of the 38,514 on course that day. It is one of those few Cox Plates that if you believed everyone who told you they were there that day, the real number should have been closer to 50,000.
He was a champion at the top of his game. The year before his Cox Plate win, Might And Power won the Caulfield Cup by seven and a half lengths and led throughout, a rare feat, to win the Melbourne Cup by a nose to Doriemus. Named after a hymn by his deeply religious owner, Nick Moraitis, the Cox Plate completed the holy trinity of Victorian races and cemented Might And Power’s place amongst the greats.
Moraitis was a larger than life character who adored his horse. Jack Denham was his wily old trainer who hardly spoke in public and his jockey, Jimmy ‘Pumper’ Cassidy was one of the best and most brash jockeys in the riding ranks who forged an unforgettable partnership with the star gelding. Heading into the 1998 Cox Plate Might And Power was an unbackable short-priced favourite, and while many punters often love seeing a favourite get beaten by an underdog, it wasn’t that day. The entire crowd was with the five-year-old and at the 300 metre mark turning out of the straight for the first time, in their heart of hearts they knew he had it won.
Cassidy took Might And Power straight to the front despite his rivals pre-race suggesting the only way to beat him was to pocket him in the run and keep him there, but Cassidy took any suggestion of that out of the equation immediately. He was allowed to roll along in front, and at the 800-metre mark, he started to again pour on the pressure, running the last 800 metres in a sizzling 47.98.
Chief Steward Des Gleeson, another man of few words, commented after the race that Might And Power is the “best stayer I’ve seen, and he did it all by himself.”
Front-running horses seem to garner more love and respect than their counterparts because they have to do it all. Jump well, use energy to spear to the front, face the breeze and lug the field around the course before charging home to stave off the competition. Might And Power did exactly that time after time and in the most significant three races in Australia, winning them all.
While he achieved everything there was to accomplish on the track; it was off the track this his legend status grew, residing at Living Legends and attending hundreds of industry events, racedays and community initiatives. He was a worthy ally for Subzero in this space, with the aura of his achievements on the track cutting through to people outside of racing. Inducted into the Australian and New Zealand Racing Hall of Fames, he sadly passed away in April this year, aged 26.