One of the most heavily supported horses to win the Melbourne Cup 2011 over the past 24 hours is the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained Niwot who, like their stablemate Maluckyday 12 months ago, won The Lexus Stakes on Derby Day. Can they too run second in the ‘race that stops’ a nation, or maybe even go one better and emulate 2008 Melbourne Cup winner Brew?
Galileo seven-year-old Niwot burst into Melbourne Cup calculations, the honest galloper crunched in from $101 in the Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet now rated a $16 chance to win the $6 million showdown, after they earned a ballot exemption with their eye-catching win in Saturday’s Group 3 The Lexus Stakes (2500m).
Lightly-raced for their age with just 22 starts, back in 2009 Niwot suffered a nasty leg injury that threatened to end their career on the turf.
After 20 months on the sidelines the brave stayer returned and defied the vets’ predictions by not only racing again, but winning as well.
The Lexus Stakes victory was not by a small margin either.
They didn’t just beat home their rivals, they smashed them by three lengths and looked to have plenty more heading into the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
One of the true fairytale stories of this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup field, Niwot is out to repeat the feat of the fellow Hawkes-trained Maluckyday who ran second to Americain in last year’s Cup on the back of a Lexus Stakes success.
The form line is also there for comparisons to another unassuming galloper that won the ‘race that stops a nation’, Brew.
Prepared by Mike Moroney, New Zealand-bred Brew snuck into the 2008 Melbourne Cup field on with a Lexus win and the form proved good as they went on to win the Cup by two lengths over Yippyio.
So the question is – do the Hawkes have another lucky day brewing for the 2011 Melbourne Cup with Niwot?
See below for the pros and cons on Niwot to become the Melbourne Cup winner, and to back them head to Luxbet where you will get the guaranteed best odds.
#23 Niwot – Horse Form
- Jockey: Dean Yendall
- Trainer: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
- Owners: R & C Legh Racing Pty Ltd, Mr S W Kay, Gurners Bloodstock Co, Mr M J Calman, Mrs M A Calman, Mr N J Griffin, Mrs J S Griffin
- Age: 7YO
- Gender: Gelding
- Breeding: by Galileo (IRE) from Too Darn Hot (NZ)
- Career: 22-8-4-1
- Prize Money: $590,325
- Track: 5-3-1-0
- Distance: 1-1-0-0
- Current Melbourne Cup Odds: $16 Luxbet
Niwot Can Win the 2011 Melbourne Cup Because…
- Flemington is their pet track and they have an excellent record there with three wins and a second from five starts
- The Lexus Stakes is a good form race for the Melbourne Cup, last year’s winner being their stablemate Maluckyday who ran second
- Have come up with the ideal barrier nine draw, not right on the rails where traffic could be an issue but not so far out that the two miles becomes even further
- Looked to have plenty left in their legs after running away with The Lexus win over 2500 metres, a good indication going to the 3200 metres on Tuesday
- Are proven over the Melbourne Cup distance having won the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes over 3200 metres at Flemington on May 21 this year
- Is one of only three horses in the race to have won over the two-miles along with #1 Americain ($4.40 Luxbet) and #4 Drunken Sailor ($41 Luxbet)
- Has the right weight getting into the field with just 51kg, they meet favourite Americain 7kg better
Niwot Cannot Win the 2011 Melbourne Cup Because…
- Did they beat a genuine field in the Lexus? Does the quality of those rivals stack up?
- Neither his jockey nor his trainers have won the Melbourne Cup before
- Was beaten two lengths by Melbourne Cup rival #10 Mourayan ($16 Luxbet) over 2500m at Flemington three starts back in the Listed The Bart Cummings (2500m), does that prove the depth of the Lexus is questionable? Was a slow track however
Best Bet: A genuine threat with this form and weight – Back Each Way at Luxbet
One person firmly on the Niwot bandwagon is Mark Kavanagh who is without a runner in this year’s Melbourne Cup, but enjoyed success with Shocking back in 2009.
“He has an impeccable history at Flemington and is proven at the trip,” Kavanagh said.
“The recent record of Lexus winners in the Cup speaks volumes.
“I know because I won the double with Shocking two years ago.”
Whether you think Melbourne Cup betting market mover Niwot can live up to the expectations of those that have crunched them in the odds, or if you believe they will fail to perform in the testing two-mile showdown, Luxbet have the wager for you.
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