Kiwi jockey Leith Innes produced the greatest ride of his career to win the A$1 million Queensland Derby on Pinarello yesterday, then immediately retired.
"I am done. That was one of my best ever rides and I want to go out on a high," said the 44-year-old Aucklander.
"I considered it last year and I can't think of a better way to do it than winning this race like that. I won't be changing my mind in the morning. It is time for me and I am calling it quits.
"To do it winning a huge race for [owners] Brendan and Jo Lindsay who have been such big supporters of mine is the right way to go out.
"I know this horse is special enough he might go on to be a Cox Plate horse but I can't worry about that.
"The time is right for me. I guess I will have to get a job."
Innes is going out on a stunning high as he expertly guided Pinarello to overcome barrier 17 by gambling on going forward on the three-year-old to overcome the Eagle Farm track that suited leaders racing on the inside 7m of new ground.
Having gone running on the track on Thursday, Innes made the late decision to be aggressive on Pinarello early to get as handy as possible, risking being trapped three wide.
He executed his plan to perfection and 300m after the start was one off ahead of midfield in a perfect spot, but then doubled down on his confidence by taking off three wide well before the home bend to clear traffic and give Pinarello a winning break.
Innes somehow achieved all of that and when the challengers came at the 200m the leggy gelding would not be denied.
Innes' genius final ride wasn't the only stunning display of New Zealand horsemanship in the victory as trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood pulled off their own masterstroke to get Pinarello to the race ready to win.
The son of the late Tavistock overcame an interrupted preparation that saw him missing his logical lead-up race two weeks ago, so Pinarello hadn't started since bolting away with the Championship Stakes at Pukekohe on April 23.
After missing the Rough Habit Plate two weeks ago because of the heavy track James, who has trained five NZ Derby winners, had to get Pinarello fit enough to win the Derby over the punishing 2400m without flattening him in training on the soaked Queensland tracks.
This win at just his seventh start and against such odds suggests Pinarello is a serious Group 1 contender at either weight-for-age or in the Cups when he fully matures. He also provides the Lindsays, who own Cambridge Stud, with their second A$1 million Group 1 winner in Australia this season, after Probabeel won the Might And Power in October.
Like Innes, Probabeel is now retired, but in Pinarello the Lindsays and Cambridge Stud have a new star.
But whatever jockey partners him in the future will need a miracle to ride him as perfectly as Innes did in his last ride.