As State Of Rest prevails, protest drama disrupts the Cox Plate thriller.
State Of Rest crossed the finish line first, followed by Amanoe. Getty Images
State Of Rest has won the 2021 Cox Plate in a thrilling race decided in the stewards' room.
State Of Rest was the first horse across the finish line in a classic Cox Plate, but the final result took an eternity to determine when the winning horse was seen straying across the track and colliding with second-placed finisher Anamoe, who appeared to be romping home.
However, the lawsuit was finally dismissed, much to the surprise of pundits, as Australia was divided on how to proceed.
Bruce McAvaney of Channel 7 predicted an objection as State Of Rest crossed into Ananmoe's racing line as the race neared its conclusion.
"I'm not certain a protest will occur, but I wouldn't be surprised," McAvaney added.
Michelle Payne, champion jockey, stated that State Of Rest had advanced "three-quarters" after it was revealed that a protest would be upheld.
Craig Williams, the jockey from Anamoe, did eventually dispute the outcome.
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While McAvaney stated that he could not recall another protest being sustained throughout the race, Payne stated that she anticipated the ruling would be reversed.
"I believe the critical issue is that Anamoe was making up ground until he was bumped, at which point his momentum ceased to pick up the ground he was making before to the interference," she explained.
"It encroaches on his whip space, which I believe Anamoe is using - we're nearing the finish line of a race, and he's certainly shifted in. It is against the racing rules. Definitely establishes touch and diverts his attention. As a result, I'm inclined to believe it will be upheld."
McAvaney came around to the view that it should be upheld the longer it took.
However, when it was announced that the protest was dismissed, McAvaney stated that the outcome would be disputed for years to come.
"It will be discussed in perpetuity because it was such a close call," he remarked.
"It's a classic in so many ways. One of the finest Cox Plate bouts we've ever witnessed. We've seen so many over the years that this has been the most contentious and divided Cox Plate final I've ever observed. One that will be discussed in perpetuity."
It capped a dramatic Cox Plate in which fancies Gold Trip and Zaaki were scratched.
Trainer Annabel Neesham confirmed on Saturday morning that British horse Zaaki would not compete in the tournament.
"I am devastated to announce that Zaaki was scratched from the Cox Plate due to an abnormally high temperature. I'm devastated for my connections and for James McDonald "In a statement, she stated.
The TAB was so convinced Zaaki would win the Cox Plate that they paid out the victory last month.
Gold Trip was scratched from the weight-for-age race earlier on Friday owing to lameness in its legs.