Dour stayer Outback Joe rekindled memories of champion mare Let’s Elope in the G2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) on Monday.
Outback Joe (6g Elvstroem — Let’s Elope by Nassipour) looked beaten when Perth Cup winner Black Tycoon ranged up at the furlong but he had enough in reserve to prevail by a short neck.
“It was a very brave win,’’ in-form apprentice Chad Schofield said. “They were going very quickly and I was happy sitting off the pace. I wound him up around the turn and he just outstayed them.”
Outback Joe was set for the two-mile test after winning the LR Bagot Hcp (2800m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day. A homebred for Dennis and Margaret Marks, he is by Blue Gum Farm stallion Elvstroem and is the fifth stakes performer for former Australian Horse of the Year Let’s Elope.
Now a spritely 26, she is in retirement at Lauriston Park in Euroa.
“I have always wanted to get him to 3200 metres and he didn’t let us down,” trainer Nigel Blackiston said. “He’s qualified for the Melbourne Cup so we will have a crack. Dennis won it with Let’s Elope and this bloke is still maturing.”
Blackiston was foreman for Bart Cummings when Let’s Elope cut a swathe through Australia’s staying ranks in 1991-92 winning the Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Cup, Mackinnon Stakes, Melbourne Cup, C F Orr Stakes, St George Stakes and Australian Cup.
Transferred to the United States, she won the G1 Beverley D. Stakes at Arlington but was relegated for causing interference to home-town heroine Flawlessly.
Let’s Elope was retired to stud in 1995 and started with French stakes performers Yes I Will (Danzig) and Over The Moon (Storm Cat) before returning to Australia carrying G2 MVRC AAMI Vase winner Ustinov (Seeking The Gold). He currently stands at Moorookyle Park in Victoria.
Let’s Elope foaled Caught Courting (Danehill) a year after Ustinov and he won four races in Sydney and was stakes placed in Perth. He is based at Greenvale Park in Queensland.
Marks pensioned Let’s Elope after foaling Outback Joe’s younger sister Karata (Elvstroem) in 2008. She is also trained by Blackiston and has won a Seymour maiden in 16 starts to date.