Racing’s Best of the 80s & 90s

As noted in the last thread on the 60s & 70s, the esteemed Almanackers had Manikato and Vain clear winners with a gap to Galilee, Tobin Bronze and Dulcify in 5th spot.
This week, we move on to the 80s and 90s, where it would be fair to assume that a dominant winner will emerge, but the placings are much, much tougher to predict.
I want your top 5 in order. Those nominated, again in alphabetical order, are:
Good luck selecting a top 5 from that lot!!


  1. Long live The King!
    Might find a spot for Mahogany.
    Big Emancipation fan amongst the girls.

  2. Peter Flynn says

    No Rubiton.

    Fair enough. I understand the construct of a list.

    (1) Better Loosen Up

    (2) Strawberry Road

    (3) Kingston Town (needed to do something overseas not its fault that it didn’t)

    (4) Vo Rogue

    (5) Might and Power

  3. Thanks Flynny. Yes a few notable omissions including Beau Zam, Myocard and Naturalism who started odds on in a Cox Plate against a lot of these and fell.

    Who did you fancy in the 60s & 70s list?

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    There’s an eight time Group 1 winner, with second placings in the NZ Derby, Rosehill Guineas, AJC Derby, Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup, Tancred Stakes etc who I’d have before most of those on that list.

    Tell me how many better wins than this you’ve seen?

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    There’s no youtube of Naturalism in the ’92 Japan Cup, unfortunately. He and Veandercross duelling in the Canterbury Guineas, Rosehill Guineas, and AJC Derby in ’92 is a great turf memory.

  6. Phenomenal performance and against a top field too. Helps if you don’t go via the car park.
    God’s Own’s Caulfield Guineas win was not disimilar in that they both were interfered with more than once and finished like trains.

    Feel free to include Veandercross in your top 5 if you think he deserves to be there!

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    From that list:

    The King (21 consecutive wins in Sydney?) obviously.

    Might and Power (only Rising Fast has won the big three aswell) Front running freak with a long barrel like Manikato.

    Schillaci. A superb sprinter who kept on keeping on. His win in Sydney over 1500m (George Ryder?) showed his guts.

    Let’s Elope. In a league of her own until she bled, then got shipped off to America.

    Octagonal. Very intelligent horse who understood racing and always won a photo finish.

    Apologies to Super Impose (the ‘perfect’ racehorse prototype) and BLU (Huge win in the Japan Cup).

  8. Let’s be harsh and put a line through plenty.

    I’m scratching…
    Tie The Knot, BetterLoosenUp, Bonecrusher, Campaign King, Placid Ark, Rough Habit, Strawberry Road…

  9. Your call. Oersonally don’t know how you can scratch BLU and leave Emancipation in. Other than that I’m with you. So who is left as your top 5?

  10. Skip of Skipton says

    Tie the Knot won a heap of Group One races in Sydney, but his era in the late ’90s wasn’t as strong as other eras. Worthy of a mention.

  11. Any love for Vo Rogue?

  12. Ripsnorter says

    I am happy to include the Rogue, he was like the Takeover Target of his time and the trainer / hoop and horse story around him makes him an all time favorite.
    My five would be:
    Kingston town
    Might and Power
    Better Loosen Up
    Let’s Elope
    Vo Rogue

    Apologees to a good half a dozen others.

  13. I’m happy to put Vo Rogue in.
    I missed a lot of these horses, especially the vaunted sprinters.

    I’m definitely with the King at the top.
    Rest is tough.

    Mahogany the most versatile.
    Vo the greatest romance.
    Super Duper has to go in.
    Emancipation for the girls.

  14. I’ll go with

    1. Kingston Town
    2. Super Impose
    3. Vo Rogue
    4. Better Loosen Up
    5. Red Anchor

  15. Here is my list and no correspondence will be entered into Budge
    Kingston Town
    Super Impose
    Might and Power
    Better Loosen Up
    Vo Rogue (and what a character Vic Rail was)

  16. cowshedend says

    1.Kingston Town
    4.Might and power(broke record in Cox , mind you, so did second horse Northern Drake)
    5.Octagonal(best of the 3yos in stella year)
    Sorry to Super Impose (out of bitterness,could never catch him)
    Tie the knot official race colours…Black Shorts!

  17. Cowshedend,
    I must admit that the Northern Drake factor has always been a worry for me when assessing Might And Power.

  18. My Top Five are:


  19. Northern Drake. If I recall the right horse, he got scratched from the Cox Plate. I reckoned he would go fwd and thus that would end Sunline’s hopes of once again making it a miler’s race! Sky Heights would then have won.

  20. Steve Fahey says

    Great topic, article and contributions thus far. Thank goodness we are not talking too much about cricket, what a debacle.

    The King is no.1 for me – 3 Cox Plates, a string of Group 1s and would have had a Melbourne Cup carrying a big weight had The Enforcer not flattened (and I mean flattened) another horse in Gurner’s Lane’s 1982 Cup.
    2. Might and Power – Caulfield Cup win was the most authoritative win I’ve seen in a big race and throw in both Cups and a few others and he’s right up there
    3. BLU – Japan Cup win was sensational and set the bar for Australian horses of this era
    4. Super Impose – a brilliant miler (especially in Sydney), Cox Plate winner, top four in two Melb Cups, one with 60kgs, a star
    5. Red Anchor- always hard to assess those whose star shone brightly but briefly and to compare them with those tried and true over many seasons like old Super. But this bloke was magnificent.

    Wouldn’t have minded having a share in any of them on the list !!

  21. Steve,
    1,2,and 4 all excelled Sydney and Melbourne.
    Did BLU and Red Anchor have much form north of the Barassi Line?
    I do recall Red Anchor’s 3yo Spring – nothing could touch him.
    He and The King were amongst only a handful of TJ’s who travelled his legend south.

  22. Red Anchor was a leading 2YO in Sydney and Brisbane with his wins including AJC Champagne Stakes and QTC Sires Produce Stakes before being transferred to TJ for his 3YO campaign where he won 6 from 6.

  23. Steve Fahey says

    Fair to say that BLU’s best form north of the Barassi line was in Japan, but at his best was beaten on bog tracks in Sydney by a top quality mudlark in Sydeston.

    Hard to evaluate Japan Cup win but still the only Aussie to do so so right up there for me. Also hard to evaluate Melb Cup form from the 1980s – some of the winners would be lucky to get a run these days (Tawriffic, Black Knight) but it was still the supreme staying test of that era .

  24. David Walker says

    One of the 3 best horses to ever race in Australia Kingston Town is easily my number one in this bracket;
    Kingston Town
    Better Loosen Up
    Might and Power
    Hated leaving out Vo Rogue!

  25. No Super either!
    So far Bart’s stars, Shaftesbury Avenue and Saintly, have yet to poll a vote.

  26. David Downer says

    Good discussion lads. I don’t feel entirely qualified to comment on the breadth of the entire 20 years however – I came to appreciate racing more closely from around the age of 16 (1992/3). So I can’t give an informed opinion on the King, BLU etc. Would only be going off the old tapes and the records itself, without really “living it”.

    But for interest sake, here is a top 5 of sorts for me, adhering to the following “meandering from the topic at hand” caveats …1992/3 onwards, and these are personal faves who helped ingrain my interest in the turf …couple of precocious left-fielders here!

    1. Might and Power
    2. Saintly
    3. Our Maizcay
    4. Encounter (despite regular jock)
    5. Rough Habit

  27. Difficult.

    1. Kingston Town
    2. Might and Power
    3. Saintly
    4. Super Impose
    5. Octagonal

    Perhaps a bias toward milers and beyond, I don’t fall in love with sprinters like those who won over the classic distances.

    At the end of that decade there was another we knew was destined for greatness and another two just around the corner who would take all before them.

  28. Ripsnorter says

    A few thoughts on Super Impose.

    Although Super was a great horse and his longevity, versatility and the fact he was good in Melbourne and Sydney is not in doubt. His efforts in Sydney big miles will probably never be matched and were electrifying runs.

    However I think that Vo, BLU, Let’s Elope and Shafetsbury Avenue did have his measure on the track so I find it surprising so many have him in their top five.

  29. OK, the votes are in and The King is a clear winner in the 80s/90s era with more than double the points of the second placegetter, The placings are:

    5. VO ROGUE

    We now move on to the 21st century stars and I will start up a new thread for those.

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