The Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained Niwot has overtaken the in-form Permit as the Sydney Cup 2012 betting favourite ahead of today’s classic clash at Royal Randwick.
Earlier in the week all the money for this year’s edition of the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) was on Chris Waller’s flying French import Permit.
Getting in on the 53.5kg lightweight and coming off back-to-back wins in Sydney it was easy to see why on paper the Dansili five-year-old was the horse to back at bookmaker.com.au for the Sydney Cup win.
Questions have begun to arise regarding the merit of Permit’s last start victory in the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m), however, and with the horse having been in almost constant work throughout the summer and autumn, whether they are ready for the spelling paddock.
As such Permit has continued to ease in the Sydney Cup odds from their opening quote of $3.40 now right out to $4.
Niwot meanwhile opened at $4.60 but was quickly backed into $4.40.
They have continued to smash this smart seven-year-old Galileo gelding and Niwot is now the punters’ pick at $3.70.
There really is a lot to like about this market mover too.
Coming off two good fourth place finishes behind Manighar in the Ranvet Stakes and The BMW at their last too, getting up to the two miles today is definitely going to work in Niwot’s favour.
“He probably should have run third, maybe second,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said of their run in The BMW
“He did cop a couple of checks, he is the type of horse whose momentum can’t be stopped, once he gets going, he gets going.”
They have winning form over 3200-metres having won the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemignton last May, and the last time they ran over the distance it was in the world’s richest handicap race – the 2011 Melbourne Cup.
In the Melbourne Cup Niwot, who was fresh off a big three length victory in The Lexus Stakes (2500m), ran a brave eighth and came within four lengths of the winner.
“To win the Lexus the way he did going into the Melbourne Cup are what dreams are made of,” Hawkes said.
“He then ran seventh in the Melbourne Cup, he was the first of the Aussie horses home.
“A lot of horses don’t come back from a Melbourne Cup campaign but here he is.
“Having so long off helped him come back in very good order.
“He hasn’t won a race this time in but he has been knocking on the door and the Sydney Cup is the race we set him for.”
It really looks like it is there time to shine today, the gallant old stayer getting the right distance fresh off a three week break.
Niwot will also like coming back from the 59kg to 55.5kg today and his trainers are confident the punters have it right.
“I think he is the best horse in the race, he is proven at the distance, he is back to a handicap and he is well weighted,” Hawkes said.
See below for the complete 2012 Sydney Cup odds and market moves courtesy of our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au.
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2012 Sydney Cup Betting Market Moves
#1 Efficient – Steady at $14
#2 Drunken Sailor – Steady at $6.50
#3 Niwot – $4.40 into $3.70
#4 Precedence – Steady at $11
#5 Once Were Wild – Steady at $26
#6 Hawk Island – $21 out to $26
#7 Stand To Gain – Steady at $101
#8 Permit – $3.40 out to $4
#9 Older Than Time – $9 into $8
#10 Hanks – Steady at $41
#11 Solid Billing – Steady at $71
#12 Anudjawun – Steady at $17
#13 Nextanix – Steady at $26
#14 Our Serena – Steady at $101
#15 Peal Of Bells – Steady at $61
#16 Planet Purple – Steady at $151
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from bookmaker.com.au and subject to change