ANY doubts over the ability of More Joyous (by More Than Ready), to run 2000 metres were emphatically put to bed when she exploded away from a top-class field to add the Queen Elizabeth Stakes to her Doncaster Mile triumph.
Nash Rawiller jumps for joy!
On a day when Black Caviar maintained her unbeaten run, scoring win No. 20 in the Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide, champion colt Pierro and super filly Atlantic Jewel lived up to their hype at Randwick, More Joyous held up her end of the bargain as Sydney's favourite racehorse.
In a field billed as worthy of a Cox Plate, Nash Rawiller took up the running aboard More Joyous and the Gai Waterhouse-trained mare travelled well but looked to be under siege when a host of rivals mounted challenges rounding the home turn.
Rawiller knew what he had underneath him and More Joyous ($3.20) went up a gear, accelerating clear to score by 2½ lengths from Manighar ($6), with Secret Admirer ($13) a distant third.
''How about the way he rode her?'' a jubilant Waterhouse said. ''I didn't tell him anything, he just did it. He realised they'd probably all sit back and took control.
''The question was, could she run the distance? Could she run the distance? She annihilated them. I just enjoy watching her. That was really special.''
The only other time More Joyous had tackled 2000 metres was in the 2010 Cox Plate when she finished fifth to So You Think, who was at the peak of his powers.
Waterhouse has been trying to convince owner John Singleton to take More Joyous to Royal Ascot and the pair were in discussions about a possible trip to England. But it looks as if More Joyous' victory has all but ruled out an overseas trip, with Singleton having eyes only for the Cox Plate.
''The Cox Plate, I'll never have another chance like this,'' he said. ''The most prizemoney is here [in Australia] and the most fun is here. I've taken three horses to Europe and they've never come back.
''She will go home tomorrow and come back in the spring. All the doubts about her running 2000 metres are gone.''
The Queen Elizabeth capped a remarkable carnival for Waterhouse and Rawiller, who have combined for seven group 1 wins this autumn.
Waterhouse has also led in a treble of stakes winners on each of the past five Saturdays.
''I think I've got to go home tonight and have a glass of wine and soak in what's just happened. It's been unbelievable,'' Rawiller said.