New Zealand-bred stayer No Compromise lived up to his name in a grandstand finish to Saturday’s Gr.1 Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick, prevailing by a nose to claim his first triumph at the elite level.
The Pins gelding has an exceptional pedigree, most notably as a half-brother to the multiple Group One winner Tofane, and he had shown big-race ability of his own with six previous victories headed by the Gr.3 NE Manion Cup (2400m).
He had also placed in more than a dozen other races, four of them at stakes level including a third in the Gr.2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) on September 3.
Trained to the minute by expat New Zealander Chris Waller, who celebrated his fifth Metropolitan win, No Compromise was ridden patiently by Tommy Berry and settled towards the rear of the field for most of the journey.
He gained plenty of ground in a promising move coming up to the home turn, but he found himself blocked badly at the 400m and even worse at the 200m.
Berry switched back to the inside and asked No Compromise to quicken again, and the six-year-old responded in style. He lunged through along the inside of the favourite Le Don De Vie, and that pair went to war in a head-bobbing duel through the final 50m.
Realm Of Flowers chimed in wider out to make it a three-way photo, but No Compromise held firm and edged it by two noses.
“I was bolting coming to the corner, but when James (McDonald) shifted out in front of me, I thought it was all over,” Berry said. “He did an unbelievable job to pick himself up and get there.
“But Chris Waller – he’s a freak, isn’t he? Group One day, and he’s here.
“I think I won the first couple of races on this bloke when he came over to Australia, and it’s really nice to get back on him.
“I guess the thing with him – and Chris does it with all of his horses – he came over here quite a keen-going horse, and you saw him today. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. I had him standing up there behind the gates at the 600m and he was just looking around. The feeling is like, ‘Gee, he’s in the zone, this horse.’ From that moment on, I thought I was on the right one.”
No Compromise has now earned A$891,620 in a 30-start career that has produced seven wins, five seconds and eight thirds.
“This is a special win,” Waller said. “He’s got a great family from New Zealand behind him. He’s been building up to this and has been a bit unlucky. He doesn’t like the really wet tracks.
“Today, even though it’s heavy, they’re getting through it better than they were in the autumn. That was a help to him, and I think 2400m is the cap on his distance range, as he showed today.”
Bred and raised at Gordon Cunningham’s Curraghmore, No Compromise was purchased at Karaka 2018 by his former trainer Bill Thurlow for $40,000 and is raced by his brother Grant and his wife Patty.
Bill Thurlow prepared No Compromise to win two of his first ten starts before sending him to Waller, with Sydney’s premier trainer having enjoyed a stint working for Thurlow in his early days.
Out of broodmare gem Baggy Green, No Compromise is a half-brother to not only Tofane but also the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) runner-up Benaud. He is also closely related to Group One winners Funstar and Youngstar.